Austria's finance minister Karl Heinz Grasser has warned that smaller countries will not be pushed around by larger ones during talks on the new EU constitution. Speaking ahead of the Intergovernmental Conference in Rome Mr Grasser said smaller countries don't want to be dominated by a president of the EU council who will most likely come from one of the big countries.
Meanwhile the Czech Prime Minister has pledged his support to Turkey's bid to join the European Union. Speaking during an official trip to Turkey, Vladimir Spidla said Turkey belonged to the European Union both historically and geographically.
Poland has introduced a new visa system on its eastern border. Under new rules introduced ahead of EU membership next year, entry visas are now required from Ukrainians, Russians and citizens of Belarus.
The Slovak cabinet has dismissed the head of the country's security watchdog agency. Jan Moyzis, who leads Slovakia's NBU agency in charge of protecting state secrets, was sacked on Thursday. Slovakia's Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda has accused Mojzis of corruption. He denies any wrongdoing.
Hungary's Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy has proposed setting up a European Centre of Minorities in Budapest. The office would look after the affairs of new minority groups of immigrants in Western Europe as well as traditional national and ethnic groups.
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