Saying: “We have hit a wall,” Poland has rejected as unacceptable the German EU presidency’s proposals aimed at reaching a compromise on a new voting system for an enlarged European Union. This is said to have come from the prime minister in Warsaw, with his brother the President negotiating in Brussels with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
At his final EU summit as Prime Minister, Tony Blair had also said Britain would only sign up to a treaty if a range of demands were met.
After a brief row, when French President Nicolas Sarkozy persuaded Germany to remove a key mention of competition policy from common guidelines, the principle of “free and undistorted” competition was restored.
This in itself was not enough to ensure a breakthrough. Merkel’s offer to defer changes in an institutional reform treaty until 2014 was not enough to convince the Poles.
As to replacing the disputed EU constitution with a slimmed-down treaty, Polish President Lech Kaczinski had said he was open to reasonable pursuasion but his latest word was “one cannot give way all the time”. Some journalists covering the two-day summit in Brussels had been placing bets on whether it will end in success or failure.