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EU: Commission Head Calls For Scrapping National Veto

Strasbourg, 4 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- European Commission President Romano Prodi today called for the elimination of the national veto as EU states continue to argue over a new EU constitution. Prodi, speaking at a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, said the right of veto is a problem for the future of EU institutions because it can bring deadlock in the union.

The forum creating a draft EU constitution has proposed moving to qualified majority voting in many areas, but would preserve the national veto for taxation and foreign policy.

Several EU member states oppose extending majority voting in these areas, saying such issues should be left to national governments.

The constitutional forum is trying to complete its draft text in time for a summit of EU leaders in Greece on 20-21 June.