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The BBC's Colin Blane
"Ministers insisted progress had been made"
 real 56k

Saturday, 24 March, 2001, 21:17 GMT
EU presses Bush on global warming
Goeran Persson and Romano Prodi
Joint letter: the EU is worried by Mr Bush's move
European Union leaders have appealed to the United States to cut its carbon dioxide emissions as part of world-wide efforts to reduce the pollution believed to cause global warming.

The appeal follows a letter to President George W Bush by two EU leaders expressing grave concern at his decision to go back on an election campaign pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions from American power plants.

EU leaders are calling on all nations to agree on implementing the protocol on reducing emissions of so-called greenhouse gases set out in Kyoto, Japan, so it can come into force next year.

Carcases being burned in Briatin
The spread of foot and mouth was high on the agenda
Winding up their summit in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, EU leaders for the first time admitted that their countries will be affected by the global economic slow-down.

But they concluded that Europe's economies were in a strong enough position to resist threats of recession.

In their joint letter to Mr Bush, the Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson, who currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, and Romano Prodi, head of the European Commission called for urgent, high-level talks with his administration on global warming.

On Friday, the EU expressed "deep concern" to the US over Mr Bush's decision to abandon his campaign pledge.

Agenda overshadowed

The Stockholm summit has been dominated by events in the Balkans and the spread of foot-and-mouth disease - diverting attention from the original agenda of discussing ways of making the European economy competitive in the digital age.

A BBC correspondent in Stockholm said all the leaders accepted the need for reforms to make the EU more competitive, but they failed to reach consensus on precisely what needs to be done.

A proposed target date of 2005 for opening up EU electricity markets to competition, favoured by the UK, was dropped at the insistence of France.

And plans to unite national air traffic control systems under a "single European sky" have been put on hold because of a dispute between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar airport.

But the leaders said the most significant success was agreement on creating a single financial market in the EU.

Balkan concerns

The level of concern at events in the Balkans was highlighted by a visit from Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski.

EU leaders reaffirmed their support for Macedonia in its conflict with ethnic Albanian guerrillas.

Rebel in Macedonia
EU leaders expressed solidarity with Macedonia

But they urged Macedonia to act with restraint and to address the grievances of the ethnic Albanian population.

They also reasserted their willingness to play an active role in the Middle East peace process.

The rise in British cases of foot-and-mouth to 515 and the confirmation of a fourth case in the Netherlands and a second in France on Saturday did not sway the leaders' confidence in halting the spread of the disease.

But the summit resulted in no new promises of compensation to farmers for animals destroyed because of foot-and-mouth and mad cow disease, or BSE.

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See also:

24 Mar 01 | UK Politics
Summit 'could have done more'
24 Mar 01 | Europe
EU turns to economy
23 Mar 01 | Europe
Events swamp EU summit agenda
23 Mar 01 | Europe
The Stockholm agenda
17 Mar 01 | Europe
EU pledges support to Macedonia
23 Mar 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Europe's global gamble
01 Jan 01 | Europe
Sweden assumes EU presidency
26 Apr 00 | Business
EU move to boost e-commerce
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