The nine-nation European Economic Community (EEC) is soon expected to take a major step towards the creation of a directly elected European Parliament.
The nine-nation European Economic Community (EEC) is soon expected to take a major step towards the creation of a directly elected European Parliament. The decision could come within the next two days following a summit meeting which opened in Brussels on Monday (12 July).
SYNOPSIS: The meeting at EEC headquarters in the Belgian capital was picketed by hundreds of demonstrators. Led by a former European Commission President, Jean Rey, the demonstrators were in favour of speeding up the date for elections to the European parliament.
French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing was one of the first arrivals. In the past, progress for elections has been hindered by differences between France and Britain but since the French Premier's recent visit to London it appears this could change. British Prime Minister James Callaghan has agreed to the latest proposals on the parliament along with several other leaders.
The accord calls for a 410-seat assembly to replace the present 198-seat chamber voted by national legislatures. Besides the parliament, the summit will negotiate on Greece's application for membership. The main difficulty here is the community's aim to maintain a balance in its relations with Greece and neighbouring Turkey. Both are associated to the EEC but Ankara is not seeking full membership because its economy is less advanced.