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Europe

Constitution Talks Loom After Enlargement Celebrations

As Europe recovers from its enlargement celebrations and enters a new political reality, negotiations on the draft constitution are topping the diplomatic bill.

As Europe recovers from the enlargement celebrations and enters the political reality of 25 member states, negotiations on the draft Constitution will top the bill for the next few weeks. Speaking at a press conference to mark the EU's enlargement, Bertie Ahern, the Irish prime minister and current head of the EU, said: "Our first major task together will be to agree a new Constitutional Treaty." "Although there are significant issues to be resolved in the negotiations on the Constitutional Treaty, there are very large parts of it that are agreed. On the more difficult and sensitive issues which remain, I firmly believe a way forward can be found with the necessary political will." High-level officials from the 25 member states will begin meeting in Dublin on Tuesday to continue the behind-the-scenes negotiations on the treaty blueprint. The goal of the meetings is to reach an agreement between governments on all but the most sensitive issues - mainly institutional - ahead of a formal meeting of foreign ministers on the constitution on May 17. ( EUobserver.com)

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