The European Union risks ``permanent crisis and paralysis'' unless it can persuade member nations to adopt a constitution, the bloc's top official warned Wednesday on the eve of a crucial summit.
&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/365/15588_europe.html ' target=_blank>Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission's president, also said the EU must honor its commitments to Turkey and other nations regarding their future membership in the bloc despite public concern about the expansion plans. That concern has been cited as a contributing factor to the recent French and Dutch ``no'' votes on the proposed EU charter.
Leaders of the EU's 25 member nations begin their two-day summit in Brussels on Thursday. The gathering has been billed as an opportunity to stoke new confidence in the EU, which rarely has looked more divided.
Fierce disputes over generous subsidies for French farmers, Britain's annual budget rebate and a parting of ways among EU heavyweights France and Germany over the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/ 22/101/399/15557_EUvotefrance.html ' target=_blank>European constitution have cast a shadow over the summit.
All 25 member states must ratify the proposed constitution for it to enter into force. It has been approved by nine countries and rejected by two, tells the Guardians Unlimited.
According to the VOA News, the EU had hoped that the two-day summit beginning Thursday would be an opportunity to spur new confidence in European integration after the bloc was plunged into turmoil by the referendums in France and the Netherlands.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who holds the EU's rotating presidency, has been trying his best to broker a deal on the union's future financing in spite of conflicting demands by Britain and France. But he now acknowledges that such an accord is probably impossible.
Despite the insistence of its 24 partners, Britain refuses to give up a $5.5 billion annual rebate from EU coffers that it won two decades ago, when it was less well-off than it is today.