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Tuesday, 9 January, 2001, 15:18 GMT
Prodi attacks EU's rotating presidency
Romano Prodi
Prodi: Current system is "ineffective political tourism"
The President of the European Union Commission, Romano Prodi, has said that the system of rotating the union's presidency every six months is "untenable" in the long term.

In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Mr Prodi said the current system - where each country takes its turn at the head of the union - is "ineffective political tourism".

EU presidency
July-Dec 2000: France
Jan-June 2001: Sweden
July-Dec 2001: Belgium
Jan-June 2002: Spain
July-Dec 2002: Denmark
"We can't go on spinning around like this. This is a big, big, big problem for us to work, like we do now, with different negotiating cultures and different people," he said.

The system could become harder to manage when the union expands, almost doubling its size from its current 15 members when mainly eastern European countries are admitted.

But Mr Prodi said that the system was unlikely to change soon, as each country should be given the chance to demonstrate that it can lead the whole EU.

Sweden took over the presidency from France on 1 January 2001.

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See also:

09 Jan 01 | Europe
Profile: Romano Prodi
11 Dec 00 | Europe
EU leaders reach agreement
12 Dec 00 | UK Politics
Prodi attacks veto 'intransigence'
31 Dec 00 | Europe
France ends EU presidency
08 Dec 00 | Europe
Bigger EU - smaller voice?
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