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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prodi to Back Draft EU Treaty

STRASBOURG, France -- Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi will call on Tuesday for retention of the ambitious scope of the draft European constitution, as negotiations on the future of the failed treaty enter their final phase.

Prodi will address the European Parliament, which also wants the basics from the original text, now under revision by national governments, kept in place.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency until the end of June, is stepping up her efforts to push leaders to agree on which parts of the draft constitution, ratified by 18 countries but voted down by the French and Dutch in 2005, can be salvaged and which need to be amended or dropped.

The treaty, which aims to streamline EU decision-making, enhance the bloc's international role and prepare it to accept more member states, needs unanimous EU approval to take effect.

A more modest blueprint for future European integration is emerging compared with the groundbreaking ambitions of the failed charter.

To meet the demands of skeptical governments, including Britain, Poland and the Netherlands, Germany is considering abandoning the constitutional idea, opting, instead, for simply amending the EU's current treaty, diplomats said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.