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Eu Launches Online Debate On Bloc's Future

European Union turing to the Internet to get public debate rolling on defining EU's future direction.

(Brussels, Belgium) -- The EU launched an online debate Monday asking Europeans what "sort of European Union they want," after Dutch and French voters rejected the European Constitution last year.

The European Commission launched a web site enabling Europeans to contribute to the debate on the future of the European Union.

"This Web site is our invitation to you to discuss with us your ideas, hopes and worries for Europe's future," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Margot Wallstrom, the EU's communications strategy commissioner said in a welcome note on the site's home page.

Europeans can do so in the EU's 20 languages. The site also contains reference documents dealing with EU expansion and other issues.

"I often hear people say that they have lost confidence in the European Union because they feel that it has taken on too many responsibilities and has become very complex and difficult to understand," Wallstrom said in an audio message on the site.

"We want to know what your hopes for Europe are and what worries you as a European?"

At a summit last week, the EU leaders agreed to resume debating the future of the European constitution, nearly a year after French and Dutch voters rejected.

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