European leaders face up to the challenges of globalisation today as they meet for a summit in London’s Hampton Court Palace.
Security will be tight for the one day meeting, which is being hosted by Prime Minister Tony Blair. He was in Strasbourg yesterday, with a taste of what’s to come.
Europe’s social models will be discussed, in particular the divisive question of how much protection and welfare workers should have.
And try as he may, Blair will struggle to keep the UK’s budget row with France off the agenda. Another priority will be the setting up of Europe’s research body.
“We propose specifically a European Research Council that is the equivalent of the American National Science Foundation that will support the funding ofresearch and development projects and gives us the chance in Europe to be forming world beating companies in the technologies of the future,” he said.
Other topics up for discussion include a common energy policy and control of illegal immigration.
But with so many issues on the table and so little time to talk, observers say the summit may have little impact.