On the eve of France's six-month EU presidency, President Nicolas Sarkozy pointed to "errors" in the way Europe had been built, while stressing that a solution to the Irish 'no' must be found before the European elections. (Report: N. Germain)
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President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday called for a profound change to the way Europe is being built as France prepared to take the helm of the European Union.
"There have been errors in the way that Europe has been built," Sarkozy said in a television interview as France was to take over the presidency of the 27-nation bloc starting on Tuesday.
"We must therefore profoundly change our way of building Europe," he said.
Sarkozy was hoping to lead the European Union into a new era of unity, but Ireland's rejection of a key treaty meant to streamline EU institutions has all but derailed his ambitious agenda.
"Something isn't right. Something isn't right at all," Sarkozy commented.
He said the European project had become a source of concern to citizens "who are asking themselves whether, in the end, they will be better protected by national authorities than European ones."
Sarkozy is due to travel to Ireland on July 11 to hear first hand the concerns of voters there, a day after he unveils the priorities of the French EU presidency in an address to the EU parliament in Strasbourg.
Date created : 2008-06-30