In October the EU announced plans for a major expansion into central and eastern Europe that would add 10 new member countries by 2004, and possibly several more by 2007. The expansion would add 75 million people-most of them living in former communist states-to the EU's current 400 million.
Meanwhile, pressure is growing to appoint a full-time president to replace the EU's current six-month rotating presidency. Notable leaders expressing support for the idea are current and former French presidents Jacques Chirac and Valery Giscard d'Estaing, German chancellor Gerhard Schröder and U.K. foreign minister Jack Straw.
One proposal suggested that a president be chosen by member heads of government, while another recommended that the president be elected by the entire European Parliament.
Mr. d'Estaing also raised eyebrows when he floated a proposal to rename the EU "United Europe" or "United States of Europe" to emphasize the EU's growing cooperation.
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