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Merkel seeks accelerated timetable for institutional reform

Merkel seeks accelerated timetable for institutional reform
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German chancellor Angela Merkel said she hoped a reform of Europe’s institutions would be ratified before the European parliamentary elections of 2009. Speaking at a press conference after the declaration signing ceremony, Merkel said the timetable was ambitious but credible and called for an agreed roadmap for the future by June.

“Everyone knows the situation won’t be resolved by pushing back institutional reform, and at the same time we’re all agreed that the European Union such as it is today isn’t sufficiently reactive.”

She said it would be up to her Portuguese successors to the EU presidency to build on the foundation work.

“I think that an inter-governmental conference shouldn’t last too long, it should be short and concise and if the German presidency goes well, an inter-governmental conference could take place during the Portuguese Presidency.”

Merkel said differences of opinion that had emerged during the weekend showed the route ahead would not be easy; she said a spirirt of compromise and cooperation would be needed for succes to be achieved.