The conclusions of the last European Union summit before enlargement to 27 Member States have stressed this is a Europe of results. The leaders’ main topic in Brussels was enlargement strategy. They set a tougher tone for possible future expansion, keeping standards high while seeking not to discourage hopefuls. Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso drove the point home: “This summit sends the message that ours will remain an open house. We have given new impetus to the aspiration of the Western Balkans and we have clearly kept the door open for Turkey.”
A key note was also struck welcoming new members Bulgaria and Romania from this January 1st. Incoming EU president Germany, taking over from Finland then, will set about trying to revive the common constitution project. The soon to be 18 countries to ratify the charter will seek to play a special role in salvaging the work on this done so far.