PARIS, June 24 (Xinhuanet) -- French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Friday that he was pleased by his British counterpart Tony Blair's speech on modernisation of the EU on Thursday in Brussels.
"I am pleased to hear these words from the mouth of Tony Blair.I am happy to see that today in the presidency of the European Union he wants to move forward," he said on France Inter radio.
"I simply want to be sure we are talking about the same thing. I am not accusing him of anything. But we must judge him by his acts," he said.
Over the EU's budget Villepin said: "We were unable to reach a deal in spite of some reasonable propositions ... including an increase of 1.5 billion euros (1.8 billion dollars) in French contributions."
"If Britain takes into account this situation to make an effortitself and if it removes the blockages on the budget, I can only be very glad.
"But I am waiting to see this translated into action. We need to reach a budgetary agreement to get over this difficult phase for Europe," he noted.
On Thursday before the European Parliament, Blair called for reform and renewal of the European Union, launching his country's presidency of the EU to start from July 1st.
"The issue is not about the idea of the European Union, it is about modernization," he warned that the European Union risks failure if it does not modernize and meet the needs of its citizens.
"Investment in knowledge in skills in active labor policies ...in higher education, in urban regeneration in help for small businesses -- this is modern social policy, not regulation and jobprotection," said Blair. Enditem