Commission President José Manuel Barroso has called on EU leaders to follow an ambitious road map to put a new treaty in place by 2009 and has warned against reopening issues already agreed in the Constitutional Treaty.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has exhorted European leaders to overcome internal problems in order to make the EU fit to face the challenges of globalisation, after an EU Summit in Berlin had agreed to institutional reform by 2009.
As European leaders get ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome in Berlin on 25 March 2007, last-minute disagreements have emerged over a declaration outlining the EU's major achievements and future perspectives.
In this commentary for the March issue of the German monthly publication Politik & Kommunikation, Hajo Friedrich, independent journalist in Brussels and Vienna, takes a critical look at the European Union, the media and the German Presidency.
Following a visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Warsaw on 16-17 March, Poland agreed to back the Berlin Declaration despite the absence of a mention of Christianity in the text, clearing the way for the Treaty of Rome's 50th anniversay celebrations to take place later this week.
Emphasising the EU's social dimension in the context of the EU's upcoming 50th anniversary declaration, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented the presidency's view to Commission and Parliament leaders on 14 March 2007.
The 18 EU member states that have ratified the stalled European Constitution meet in Madrid on 26 January 2007 in an attempt to save the substance of the text. But the initiative has already met with widespread criticism.