News archive - Three Presidencies plan for enlargement

Enlargement features prominently in the planning of the "trio" programme - the 18-month vision set out by France, the Czech Republic and Sweden, which hold successive six-month terms as President of the Council between now and the end of 2009.

"The enlargement process has brought significant advantages to the Union and its Member States", says their jointly-agreed programme. "It has contributed to peace, democracy, the rule of law and stability throughout the continent. It has enhanced European competitiveness in a globalised world, thus bringing concrete benefits in terms of increased trade, investment and economic growth". It goes on to promise that "Under the three Presidencies, the Council will pursue the process of enlargement in line with the renewed consensus as agreed by the European Council in December 2006 based on consolidation, conditionality and communication. It will actively work to implement the EU's enlargement strategy".

The three Presidencies commit themselves to "take forward the accession negotiations with Croatia and Turkey" in line with Council conclusions, recalling that "these negotiations are an open-ended process, the outcome of which cannot be guaranteed beforehand". Accession negotiations with Croatia should reach "a decisive stage" in 2009, the programme predicts. "Fair and rigorous conditionality will be maintained throughout the process, and chapters for which technical preparations have been completed will be opened and closed in accordance with established procedures", in line with the negotiating frameworks that have been adopted prior to the start of negotiations.

The Council will, says the programme, "continue to monitor closely the implementation by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia of the reforms required in order to open accession negotiations. The Presidencies will work to further advance the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries in line with the enlargement strategy defined by the European Council in December 2006."


Source: Enlargement Newsletter


Entry created by Elke Dall on October 24, 2008
Modified on October 24, 2008