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Home >> World
UPDATED: 11:50, November 19, 2005
Barroso visits Prague to promote European integration
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Europe should be more powerful as a whole so as to become a reliable partner in the globalized world, European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso said here Friday.

At a news conference after meeting with Czech President Vaclav Klaus, Barroso also said the rejection of an EU constitution treaty in France and the Netherlands earlier this year does not mean the bloc is "paralyzed."

Barroso arrived in Prague earlier in the day to begin a trip aimed at promoting a European Union (EU) project called "Plan D," short for democracy, dialogue and debate.

The EU "facilitates freedom" and gives every member state "the same dignity" as well as collective clout "in the face of globalization," Barroso added.

Plan D, designed to gather opinions for the future development of the EU and rally public support for the 25-member bloc, was launched in October by the EC, the EU's executive arm, following defeats for the constitution treaty in France and the Netherlands.

The plan is to include information drives and local debates in EU member states over the next several months, climaxing with a May conference to map the future of the EU.

"It's not a plan about propaganda," Barroso told reporters after opening a government-sponsored EU information center in Prague.

"It's a plan about dialogue and debate ... a real debate about Europe, why Europe counts, why Europe is relevant, what we can do better in Europe," he said.

Prague is the first stop on Barroso's tour of 10 new EU members -- most of them in Eastern Europe -- which joined the bloc in May last year.

The Czech Republic has not voted on the EU constitution treaty and latest polls showed that about 44 percent of Czechs supported the draft document.

Source: Xinhua

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