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EU leaders take time to reflect

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EU leaders take time to reflect


European heads of state have been meeting in Brussels to discuss the fate of the Lisbon treaty after its rejection by Ireland in a referendum. The EU leaders decided to give themselves four months, until they meet in October, to consider how to break the current impasse.

The EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, said the EU had been working with 27 members for some time. It was more difficult at the moment, but not impossible.

“The question is to have the Lisbon Treaty to allow better working among the 27, and to allow better working beyond the 27, when the process of enlargement will continue.”

Nineteen EU states have ratified the treaty, but the Czech parliament may well reject it.

Czech prime minister Mirek Topolanek said he would not push the vote either way.

“I am not going to force any lawmaker to vote against or to vote in favour, but the truth is that if the ratification were to take place now, I wouldn’t even bet 100 crowns on the Czech yes.”

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has said that, if the treaty remains blocked, further EU enlargement will be brought to a halt.

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