The EU has agreed in principle to back calls by France and Germany to make slight amendments to the Lisbon Treaty, to tighten up the blocs defences against any future financial turbulence.
Yet, Berlin’s wish to suspend the voting rights of member states, which fail to keep deficits and debt in check has been rejected by the EU at a summit in the Belgian capital.
That would have required a more radical and complex overhaul to the Lisbon Treaty.
Most leaders opposed big changes to the charter that took eight years to thrash out and which became law only 10 months ago because it could involve referendums in some countries.
Euronews’ European affairs reporter Christophe Midol-Monnet is in Brussels:
“The ball tossed up by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy at Deauville is now firmly in the court of EU President Herman van Rompuy. He must now return to present the 27 member states with realistic economic reforms.
In the background fiscal restraint remains an issue and Europe’s institutions could end up paying their fare share.”