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EU Council works to avoid French rejection of European constitution

[JURIST] European leaders are rallying around French President Jacques Chirac and trying to avoid a negative French vote on the European constitution [official website; treaty text] by calling for revisions of European Union [official website] economic reform plans at the ongoing Council of the European Union [official website] summit. Recent opinion polls in France show that French voters could vote against the EU constitution [JURIST report] in the upcoming national referendum. At the Council meeting, which continues Wednesday in Brussels, European leaders approved loosening EU budgetary rules in the Stability and Growth Pact [EU legislation summary], which will give both France and Germany more room to work on reviving their economies. Council discussions Wednesday will turn to re-launching a streamlined version of the Lisbon Strategy [EU backgrounder], focused on boosting jobs and growth in the EU. Council members are also expected to continue discussions on the proposed Directive on services in the internal market [Commission proposal], another topic which is sensitive in France. The directive is intended to create a true single market in services, but many Europeans worry that this will result in the loss of social benefits. EU leaders have agreed that "far-reaching" reform of the directive is necessary. AFP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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