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Europe

Big Three Plan Regular Meetings

Germany, France and Britain are planning to have regular meetings to strengthen their common position at the European level.

According to a German government spokesperson, the leaders of the three largest member states will meet before the European Union Summit in March to assess how to proceed with the failed EU Constitution talks. "The three countries would like first ideas to be presented under the Irish presidency in March on how the discussion on the constitutional process can be followed up this year," government spokesman Thomas Stieg said Monday. "The goal, the desire of the German government, is that we have a result by the end of 2004 under the Dutch presidency and that we have a constitution." It was first agreed to have these meetings, which are set to become a regular feature, last autumn at a meeting in Berlin. French President Jacques Chirac, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder met again in the margins of the last EU summit in December. ( EUobserver.com)