Nieuws-items bij Ministerieel Conclaaf
28-01-2004Speech Barnier over de Grondwet: "Via de Laterstraat komt men op het Nooitplein" (fr)
13-01-2004Na afbrokkelen Stabiliteitspact: Solbes formuleert strategie voor coŲrdinatie en bewaking economisch beleid (en)
04-12-2003Europees Parlement verontrust over voortgang IGC
01-12-2003NAVO bestudeert nieuwe plannen Eurodefensie (en)
29-11-2003Doorbraak in besprekingen over Europese defensie (en)
29-11-2003Mogelijk akkoord over Europese Commissie (en)
28-11-2003Moeizame institutionele onderhandelingen in het vooruitzicht (en)
28-11-2003Geen overeenstemming inzake opname christelijke waarden (en)
28-11-2003Regeringsleiders wensen uitkleding bevoegdheden Europees Parlement (en)
28-11-2003Nederland koppelt Stabiliteitspact aan EU-Grondwet (en)
28-11-2003Schending Stabiliteitspact werpt schaduw over IGC-besprekingen in Napels (en)
26-11-2003Commissie bespreekt amendementen Europese grondwet
24-11-2003Agenda eurogroep: begrotingstekorten Frankrijk en Duitsland (en)
20-11-2003Polen lijkt standpunt over stemgewicht te versoepelen (en)
20-11-2003EP protesteert tegen veranderingen bepalingen financiŽle prerogatieven Parlement in ontwerp-Grondwet
18-11-2003Ierland bepleit hervorming Europees Atoomverdrag (en)
18-11-2003Europese Commissie zet excessieve begrotingstekort-procedure tegen Duitsland voort (en)
03-11-2003Voorbereiding eurogroep: Stabiliteitspact-sancties tegen Frankrijk (en)
16-10-2003Italiaans voorzitterschap komt in november met compromis-Grondwet (en)
Mogelijk akkoord over Europese Commissie (en) - Hoofdinhoud
EUOBSERVER / NAPLES - After a messy meeting in Naples on the Constitution, EU foreign ministers appeared to have agreed to having one Commissioner per country but remain utterly divided on vote weighting in a future EU.
The apparent agreement on Commissioners is a victory for small member states which have long fought to have "their" Commissioner in Brussels.
However, it is unclear whether Germany would accept such a development. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer complained that more Commissioners would create more bureaucracy.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said it had been generally agreed that each member state should have one Commission per member state with full voting rights - but that the door will be left open for considering a smaller Commission "once Europe is totally consolidated".
"Once consolidated, some made the point that later, we should consider a smaller, slim, nimble commission", said Mr Frattini.
Hard fronts on Nice
However in the old chestnut of vote weighting, there was little movement. Spain and Poland have stuck to their guns in their support of the Nice Treaty voting system which guarantees them a relatively beneficial voting weight in relation to their population size.
During a debate on the issue of Saturday morning (29 November), both Spanish and Polish foreign ministers Ana de Palacio and Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz gave a long list of the benefits of Nice for guaranteeing efficiency and equality.
Ms de Palacio said that nobody had yet succeeded in convincing her about the new voting system.
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, on the other hand, argued that the new system (which proposes from 2009 that decision would be made on the basis of a majority of member states representing 60 per cent of the population) would keep the balance between large and small member states.
For his part, the UK's Jack Straw suggested that there should be a "rendez-vous clause" somewhere closer to 2009 to decide whether Nice is working or not.
An EU diplomat said those who still really care about the vote weighting in a future EU are Spain, Poland, the UK, France and Germany - for the rest it is not such an issue.
Speaking to journalists afterwards Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was a little unclear on what had been decided.
"We are all convinced that the Nice system will be in place until 2009", adding that all states were convinced that they wanted the most efficient decision-making system.
He did not give any more concrete details but the Italian Presidency is likely to propose another solution closer to the final Summit on the Constitution in two weeks time.
Diplomats say that several other equations were flying about in the discussions - such as a 50% (countries) -50% (population) or a 60%-60% system.
Foreign ministers also agreed that the minimum number of MEPs for the smallest member states should be raised.
However, they did not agree the minimum only that it should be "a little more" as Mr Frattini put it.
Finally, the proposal to introduce qualified majority in common foreign security policy when the foreign minister makes a suggestion has been shot down in flames by the UK.
Mr Straw said that it would create the risk of generalising qualified majority voting in foreign policy issues.
All these issues will be revisited again when EU leaders meet in Brussels in two weeks time.
"It will be a long long summit", said one diplomat wearily.