EU leaders fail to reach agreement on Constitution

EU leaders ended their two-day summit on 13 December after they failed to reach agreement on the Union’s Constitution.

Italy, which holds the EU's Presidency, was expected to
formally conclude the EU summit meeting with a statement on 13
December 2003 after the negotiations were deadlocked by Poland and
Spain's refusal to give up voting rights agreed at the Nice summit
in 2000.

"At this time the conference has determined
there is no agreement," a spokesman for the Italian government told
Reuters news agency.

Italy had discussed several compromises during
bilateral meetings on 13 December, but never garnered enough
support to table any of them, diplomats said.

EU diplomats said Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi would announce that the negotiations were "postponed"
and would resume in 2004 under the Irish Presidency, but would not
set any precise timetable.



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