European Union leaders have agreed a mandate to overhaul the rejected EU constitution after Poland finally agreed to end its stand-off on voting rights. German Chancellor Anglea Merkel at the end of the marathon talks said. “It think it shows that Europe comes together in the end, everybody had to make compromises but we delivered…the treaty of reform will be a big step for the EU and enable it to act.”
Leaders of several EU countries particularly Britain and France convinced Polish President Lech Kaczynski to accept a compromise version of the planned changes to the blocs voting rights.Angela Merkel, chairing the summit at the end of Germany’s EU presidency, had to work hard to break Polands opposition to the treaty which would cut Warsaw’s voting power and hand more say to the bigger countries.
Merkel then threatened to launch treaty negotiations regardless of Polish objections. Warsaw finally settled for a deal that that put off the introduction of the new voting system until 2017 and other concessions. Britain had treaty concerns but was confident the the deal met all of Tony Blair’s “red lines” on the sensitive issues such as expanding EU powers over labour and justice. The agreement also excludes the need for Britain to hold a referendum on the treaty.