British Prime Minister Tony Blair (file photo)
1 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Britain takes up the European Union's six-month rotating presidency starting today.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Britain will use the EU presidency
to work for a breakthrough on the EU budget.
Analysts say securing a deal would be a political victory for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, but French and German opposition to his call for reform of the budget and of farm subsidies stand in the way.
Other challenges facing Britain include the crisis sparked by the rejection by voters in France and the Netherlands of the EU constitution.
British EU Presidency Opens Under Stormy Skies