[JURIST] Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates [official website] said Monday that Portugal - which takes over the rotating EU presidency from Germany in July - would work to have negotiations pursuant to Saturday's landmark agreement [JURIST report; press release] on an EU reform treaty finalized by October. Portugal's Permanent Representative to the European Union, Alvaro Mendonca, told the Centre for European Policy Studies [think tank website], that Portugal will immediately begin to create a new legal document out of the changes agreed upon to the originally-rejected EU constitution [text; European Constitution [JURIST news archive]. Mendonca said he thought that the agreements were substantive enough that there should not be much dispute over the new treaty. Ratification of the document would then take place over the next few years.
The new treaty will create a full-time EU president, as well as organize regular meetings of EU heads of states. A European office for a unified foreign minister will also be created, and will be provided the resources and support to represent the EU as a single body. The reforms will also slim down the European Commission [official website] beginning in 2014, and transfer more power to the European Parliament [official website]. Reuters has more. EUobserver has additional coverage.