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THE WEEK AHEAD

BRUSSELS : EU Meets on Expansion

March 15, 1994

The European Union's 12 foreign ministers meet here today to try to complete negotiations with Norway on the terms of its entry to the union. The plan is to present the Norwegian entry application to the European Parliament on Wednesday, together with those of Austria, Finland and Sweden, whose terms of entry have already been agreed on.

Proving even tougher to resolve than the entry talks themselves is the issue of what would constitute a so-called "blocking minority" in union voting. Britain and Spain are insisting on the present formula by which two big nations and one small one can effectively combine to block new initiatives. The others insist that as the union grows, so too must the blocking minority.

Because the terms of entry must be approved by the European Parliament and subjected to referendums in all four countries, both issues must be resolved this week if the enlargement is to take effect as scheduled next Jan. 1.

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