The Associated Press / Hampton Court EU leaders have moved no closer to resolving their divisions over a new budget, nor how to appease renewed French threats of vetoing world trade talks amid calls that Europe needs to accept urgent reforms to keep up with rising economic powers China and India. A vague agreement to work for economic renewal pushed by summit host British Prime Minister Tony Blair did little to clear up a sense of paralysis and drift in the 25-nation bloc. Blair's one-day informal talks Thursday were focused on pushing his counterparts to accept that more change was needed in wake of the effects of globalization and also to show Europeans that the EU was a benefit to their every-day lives. "People want to push Europe forward again," Blair said at the end of the talks. He said the leaders agreed to work toward cutting red tape, opening up services markets to more competition, crafting a common energy policy to cope with high oil prices, trimming welfare systems and boosting funds for research and education. Blair said there was also broad backing to set up a billion-euro "globalization adjustment fund" which officials said would be used to help workers in the EU hit by job losses blamed on global competition, as well as boosting the fight against illegal immigration. French President Jacques Chirac agreed the fund was a good idea, but issued strong threats at the talks that France would not accept more cuts in farm aid in exchange to get an EU budget deal or a world trade agreement. Chirac said he may veto an agreement on world trade talks if the EU makes excessive concessions in cuts in farm subsidies and import tariffs, raising fears the EU's already sensitive unified stance at the world trade talks was set to implode. "There is no way we are going to take an extra step," Chirac told reporters. "A red line has been drawn and we will not overstep it." France has long defended the system of subsidies, known as the Common Agricultural Policy, from which it benefits disproportionately. That EU farm aid program, which also limits imports of goods from other countries, has come under fire from the EU's trade partners. Germany cannot not increase its contributions to the EU budget, outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said. "That is also the view of the new government," Schroeder said. Schroeder endorsed Blair's call to boost spending on research and development, saying that if EU members spend 3 percent of their gross national product on it as promised, they would generate some US$132.7 billion a year. http://www.thenewanatolian.com/htm/subs/foreign/008-1.htm Hmm, France is the Nation who benefits most from Agrar-subventions within the EU. You have to think: about 55% of whole EU-Budget goes to subvention in agrar-industrie. US and EU are now in consultations in the WTO-round, where US aims to decrease Agrar-subventions on both sides. The world is really unfair of such agrar-subventions, blocking agrar-imports from 3rd world countries. So no 3rd world country has any possibility to export into the EU. EU has an unidependent negotiator in these WTO rounds. But France again, allthough this man is unidependent to negotiate gives press conferences and advices him and gives him warnings not to go over a red-line (french-red-line) I have read somewhere else that EU subventions a single cow with about 2000 $ a month. This is really crazy. about the year 2000 there was a EU-Summit in Lissbon (Portugal), where EU agreed to the Lissbon-Paper. According to this paper the EU aimed to be at the yyear 2010 to be the economically biggest power on this planet. We are now getting into 2006 and it is clear, that till 2010 this aim won't be succeeded due to the ignorance of such states like France. UK has now the EU-leadership (every 6 months other nation). Tony Blair wanted to change this crazy Agrar-EU, but he will not succeed. How will EU fullfill to become biggest economical power when they are not investing in Hi-Tech, but in uneducated farmers and cows.