Slovenia, Sweden call for compromise on EU constitution

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Slovenia and Sweden agreed on Tuesday that they supported the German EU presidency in its efforts to find a compromise for the EU constitution, said reports reaching here from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.

"Slovenia in particular hopes that the solution will be found this month," Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa said after talks with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt, referring to the EU summit in June.

Reinfeldt also voiced the hope that agreement will be reached in June, the final month of the German six-month EU presidency, reported the Slovenian news agency STA.

The EU constitution needs the backing of all 27 EU nations for it to be ratified, but French and Dutch voters rejected it two years ago in referendums. Since taking office last month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been advocating to replace the draft EU constitution with his scaled-down treaty in order to end the current institutional deadlock.

Even though Sweden has not ratified the treaty as Slovenia has done, the document has been signed and it enjoys strong support in parliament, Reinfeldt said.

He said Sweden supports the German EU presidency in its efforts to downsize the treaty and take away provisions that make people feel that a "super-state" is being created.

However, it wants to preserve the essence of the existing treaty, as downsizing does not mean Sweden supports the idea of a "mini treaty" that is advocated by France, said Reinfeldt.

Slovenia, which takes over the EU presidency in the first half of 2008, is seeking to preserve as much of the treaty as possible.

Jansa said the government did not wish the issue to be on the agenda during Slovenia's presidency, as "that would make this challenge even more formidable."

Slovenia, Sweden call for compromise on EU constitution(Over)
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