Schröder Confident About Key EU Debates | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 16.02.2005
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Schröder Confident About Key EU Debates

After talks in Brussels with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said Tuesday there was hope that the European Union can wrap up the key debates on its budget rules and long-term spending plans by this summer. Schröder refused to divulge his vision of a compromise on the reform to the EU's Stability and Growth Pact and its financial perspectives under the Luxembourg presidency, but assured Germany's willingness "to do its bit in a manner oriented towards success." Six paymaster nations including Germany, France and Britain have demanded that the EU budget be frozen at 1.0 percent of gross national income. But the EU commission, which manages the EU pot, is proposing a level of 1.14 percent. In terms of stability, Schroeder said that Barroso had assured him that the new-look pact would be made more flexible to put a greater emphasis on economic growth as well as on budgetary discipline. In addition to financial issues, Schröder and Barroso discussed the EU service directive, with Schröder demanding a better protection for employees needed in the course of the EU's service market growing together.

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