BETA


2006/2252(INI) Enlargement strategy and main challenges 2006-2007: the institutional aspects of the European Union's capacity to integrate new Member States

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead AFET BROK Elmar (icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 52

Events

2007/02/21
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2007/01/24
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2006/12/13
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2006/12/13
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2006/12/13
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted an own-initiative resolution drafted by Elmar BROK (EPP-ED, D) on the Commission's Communication on the Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2006–2007. It pointed out that the incentive offered by the prospect of EU membership had undeniably contributed to the promotion of reforms, the consolidation of democracy, increased respect for human rights and increasing stability in neighbouring countries. It agreed with the Commission that past enlargements had been a success, strengthening the EU by stimulating its economic growth, reinforcing its role in the world and promoting the development of new EU policies. Enlargement in general was among the most effective instruments of foreign policy and conflict prevention policies of the EU. This success derived from the widespread support for past enlargements as the fulfilment of the initial mission of European integration to reunite the European continent after the political divisions of the twentieth century.

However, lessons could be learned from past experience, notably the need to judge each candidate country on its own merits and to negotiate its accession in accordance with a timetable based on effective compliance with the Copenhagen criteria, as well as the need to avoid setting too early a date for final accession.

Parliament felt that the Union should honour its commitments to the countries which already had membership prospects, provided that those countries complied with the Copenhagen criteria. Any further commitment to enlarge would require far more in-depth scrutiny than ever before of the question of the Union's integration capacity, be it from an institutional, financial or political standpoint. Therefore, Parliament regretted the Commission's failure to provide a sufficiently in-depth analysis of the issues which need to be resolved before the Union can proceed with further enlargements.

The integration capacity of the Union rested fundamentally on three pillars:

1) its institutions and their legitimacy and ability to act and take decisions democratically and efficiently under new circumstances;

2) its financial resources and their overall contribution to economic and social cohesion;

3) the capacity of an enlarged Union to pursue its political objectives. The EU could only expect its citizens to have a positive attitude towards enlargement if they saw a Europe that delivers results, and accordingly, integration capacity could not be seen in isolation from the EU's capacity to act.

Since the Nice Treaty would not provide a basis for further enlargements, Parliament urged Member States to conclude the constitutional process by the end of 2008. The institutional reform of the Union was a need per se, regardless of further enlargements.

Parliament went on to point out that the Commission's Communication did not deal thoroughly with the financial implications of further enlargements and called on the Commission to provide clear and credible estimates of the budgetary implications before any further accession. This debate involved difficult issues which might have implications for the Union's common policies, including its cohesion policies. Furthermore, compliance with the Copenhagen political criteria should be given greater priority than had hitherto been the case in accession negotiations. In previous enlargements progress in the fields of justice, corruption and fundamental rights did not receive enough attention in the early phases of negotiations. Parliament recalled the clear European membership prospects which the Thessaloniki European Council of 19-20 June 2003 offered to the western Balkan countries, and stated that it remained fully committed to these prospects. Current enlargement financial instruments must be strengthened and re-focused so as to target, as a top priority, the fight against corruption and organised crime, with particular emphasis on reforming judiciaries, reinforcing public administrative capacity and improving cross-border cooperation.

With regard to Turkey, Parliament stated that the Turkish refusal to fully comply with the terms of the Additional Protocol was seriously endangering the good progress of the accession negotiations, and it urged Turkey to cooperate in a constructive way to ensure full implementation of the Additional Protocol as soon as possible. However, Parliament deplored the fact that the efforts of the Finnish Presidency to find a solution to the current stalemate regarding the full implementation of the Additional Protocol the one hand and further alleviating the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot Community on the other were not successful.

Parliament's right of assent should apply not just after the conclusion of the negotiation process but also before the opening of membership negotiations.

Reminding Member States' governments and national parliaments that it was their responsibility to inform the public adequately about the benefits of past enlargements and the stakes involved in further enlargements, Parliament felt that they must provide the public with reasons for the decisions they take, unanimously, throughout the accession process.

As part of a reinforced Neighbourhood Strategy, and in addition to the strategies concerning relations with other countries, the Council and Commission should consider an overall EU regional policy in the wider Black Sea area in order to build stronger bilateral or multilateral economic and political relations between the EU and all the countries of this area, particularly with regard to free trade, as is the case for the Central European Free Trade Agreement, investment, energy security and migration policy. This would grant partner countries a stable long-term perspective of institutionalised relations with the EU and provide the incentive necessary to foster the internal reforms required in the countries in question.

While Russia was neither a candidate for EU membership nor part of the European Neighbourhood Policy, relations remained vital in the context of any future EU enlargement strategy. The EU must continue all attempts to develop a unique, wide-ranging partnership with Russia, encompassing trade and energy, but above all human rights and democratisation issues.

Documents
2006/12/13
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2006/12/11
   CSL - Resolution/conclusions adopted by Council
Details

The Council adopted conclusions on the enlargement of the EU regarding the accession of Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January 2007 and accession negotiations with Croatia and Turkey.

Romania and Bulgaria: it looks forward to welcoming Bulgaria and Romania as Member States on 1 January 2007 and notes with satisfaction that the process of ratification of the Accession Treaty is close to completion. In line with the Council conclusions on Bulgaria and Romania of 16-17 October 2006, the Union institutions will cooperate with both member countries and verify progress in the areas of judicial reform and the fight against corruption and organised crime after accession;

Turkey : the Council takes note of the Commission's report of 8 November 2006 (COM(2006)0649) and welcomes the findings and recommendations contained therein. It welcomes the continued progress made by Turkey in the reform process, but regrets that the pace of reforms has slowed down in 2006. It is essential that Turkey undertakes determined efforts to intensify the reform process and to implement it with determination, so as to ensure its irreversibility and sustainability. The substantial and technical preparation of the negotiations have progressed well. The Council recalls that, in line with the Negotiating Framework, the advancement of the accession negotiations continues to be guided by Turkey's progress in preparing for accession. In this context the Council notes that further significant efforts are required to strengthen freedom of expression, freedom of religion, women's rights, minority rights, trade union rights and civilian control of the military. In line with the Negotiating Framework, Turkey also needs to commit to good neighbourly relations and to the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter, including, if necessary, jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The Council recalls the declaration of the European Community and its Member States of 21 September 2005 and notes that Turkey has not fulfilled its obligation of full non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement. In this context the Council agrees that the Member States within the Intergovernmental Conference will not decide on opening chapters covering policy areas relevant to Turkey's restrictions as regards the Republic of Cyprus until the Commission verifies that Turkey has fulfilled its commitments related to the Additional Protocol.

These chapters are: Chapter 1: free movement of goods, Chapter 3: right of establishment and freedom to provide service, Chapter 9: financial services, Chapter 11: agriculture and rural development, Chapter 13: fisheries, Chapter 14: transport policy, Chapter 29: customs union and Chapter 30: external relations.

The Council will follow up and review progress made on the issues covered by the declaration of 21 September 2005. The Council invites the Commission to report on this in its forthcoming annual reports, in particular in 2007, 2008 and 2009, as appropriate.

Croatia : the Council commends Croatia for the progress it has made in the past year. The accession negotiations have begun well and first results have been obtained. Croatia is now required to build on the progress made. The Council recalls that, in line with the Negotiating Framework, the advancement of the accession negotiations continues to be guided by Croatia's progress in preparing for accession. Particular attention should be paid to accelerating the pace of reforms in the areas of judicial and public administration reform, the fight against corruption, and economic reform. Rigorous implementation of Croatia's obligations under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, in particular in the areas of state aid and real estate acquisition, will be essential to maintain Croatia's positive momentum on the path to EU membership. The Council welcomes Croatia's full cooperation with ICTY and emphasises that Croatia needs to maintain it. Croatia also needs to pay due attention to good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation, including making the necessary efforts towards finding solutions to outstanding bilateral issues, in particular border disputes.

2006/12/11
   CSL - Council Meeting
2006/11/29
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2006/11/29
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2006/11/29
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2006/11/23
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2006/11/20
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2006/11/13
   CSL - Debate in Council
Details

Foreign Affairs Ministers took note of the presentation by the Commission of a communication on the European Union's enlargement strategy and main challenges for 2006 and 2007, including a special report on the EU's capacity to integrate new members, as well as progress reports on candidate countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the other Western Balkans. They held an exchange of views.

The Commission's communication (COM(2006)0649) will be used as input for debate on the EU's enlargement strategy at the European Council's meeting on 14 and 15 December, as well as for work on draft European Council conclusions.

A number of delegations highlighted the need for thorough preparation by the permanent representatives committee and the Council ahead of the European Council's meeting.

Documents
2006/11/13
   CSL - Council Meeting
2006/11/10
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2006/10/17
   EP - BROK Elmar (PPE-DE) appointed as rapporteur in AFET

Documents

Votes

Rapport Brok A6-0436/2006 - par. 14

2006/12/13 Outcome: +: 476, -: 75, 0: 37
DE IT FR ES GB HU NL AT EL BE PT IE LT FI SK DK SI LU SE PL MT CY EE LV CZ
Total
74
57
65
44
54
21
27
17
20
21
17
13
11
13
10
13
6
4
15
47
3
4
4
7
21
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
222
2

Denmark PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

Sweden PPE-DE

Against (1)

3

Malta PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Cyprus PPE-DE

2

Estonia PPE-DE

For (1)

1
icon: PSE PSE
165

Ireland PSE

1

Lithuania PSE

2

Slovakia PSE

2

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1

Malta PSE

2

Estonia PSE

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Czechia PSE

For (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
66

Spain ALDE

1
2

Austria ALDE

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Slovenia ALDE

1

Sweden ALDE

3

Cyprus ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
34

Italy Verts/ALE

2

Spain Verts/ALE

2

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

4

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
30

Germany GUE/NGL

Against (1)

4
4

France GUE/NGL

2

Spain GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

2

Greece GUE/NGL

3

Portugal GUE/NGL

2

Ireland GUE/NGL

1

Finland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

2

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1
icon: NI NI
10

United Kingdom NI

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Austria NI

1

Czechia NI

1
icon: ITS ITS
10
2

United Kingdom ITS

Against (1)

1

Belgium ITS

3
icon: UEN UEN
36

Lithuania UEN

2

Denmark UEN

Against (1)

1

Latvia UEN

3
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
15

United Kingdom IND/DEM

2

Netherlands IND/DEM

2

Greece IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

Ireland IND/DEM

Abstain (1)

1

Denmark IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

Sweden IND/DEM

2

Poland IND/DEM

2

Czechia IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

Rapport Brok A6-0436/2006 - par. 29

2006/12/13 Outcome: +: 543, -: 28, 0: 22
DE FR PL GB ES IT NL HU BE EL PT SE AT FI IE DK LT SK LV SI CY EE LU MT CZ
Total
74
66
48
56
43
59
27
21
20
21
18
15
16
13
12
13
11
10
8
6
4
4
4
3
21
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
225
3

Denmark PPE-DE

For (1)

1
2

Cyprus PPE-DE

2

Estonia PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

Malta PPE-DE

For (1)

1
icon: PSE PSE
164

Ireland PSE

1

Lithuania PSE

2

Slovakia PSE

2

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1

Estonia PSE

2

Malta PSE

2

Czechia PSE

For (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
66

Spain ALDE

1
2

Sweden ALDE

3

Austria ALDE

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Slovenia ALDE

1

Cyprus ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
35

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

4

Italy Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Sweden Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
31

France GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Spain GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

2

Greece GUE/NGL

3

Portugal GUE/NGL

2

Sweden GUE/NGL

2

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1
icon: UEN UEN
37

Denmark UEN

Abstain (1)

1

Lithuania UEN

Abstain (1)

2
icon: ITS ITS
11

United Kingdom ITS

Against (1)

1

Italy ITS

For (1)

Against (1)

2
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
14

France IND/DEM

2

Poland IND/DEM

2

United Kingdom IND/DEM

2

Netherlands IND/DEM

2

Greece IND/DEM

1

Sweden IND/DEM

2

Ireland IND/DEM

For (1)

1

Denmark IND/DEM

Abstain (1)

1

Czechia IND/DEM

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
10

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Austria NI

Abstain (1)

1

Czechia NI

Against (1)

1

Rapport Brok A6-0436/2006 - résolution

2006/12/13 Outcome: +: 481, -: 66, 0: 38
DE IT FR ES PL GB HU NL EL AT PT BE FI LT DK IE SK LV SI EE LU SE MT CY CZ
Total
73
57
64
44
48
53
21
25
20
16
18
21
14
11
13
13
9
8
6
4
4
15
3
4
21
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
221
2

Denmark PPE-DE

Abstain (1)

1

Estonia PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3
4

Malta PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Cyprus PPE-DE

2
icon: PSE PSE
161

Lithuania PSE

2

Ireland PSE

1

Slovakia PSE

For (1)

1

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1

Estonia PSE

2

Malta PSE

2

Czechia PSE

For (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
65

Spain ALDE

1
2

Austria ALDE

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Slovenia ALDE

1

Estonia ALDE

For (1)

1

Sweden ALDE

2

Cyprus ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
34

Italy Verts/ALE

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

4

Netherlands Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

3

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1
icon: UEN UEN
36

Lithuania UEN

2

Denmark UEN

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
11

United Kingdom NI

Against (2)

2

Austria NI

Against (1)

1

Slovakia NI

1

Czechia NI

Against (1)

1
icon: ITS ITS
11

Italy ITS

Against (1)

2

United Kingdom ITS

Against (1)

1

Belgium ITS

3
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
31

Germany GUE/NGL

Against (1)

4

France GUE/NGL

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Spain GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

2

Greece GUE/NGL

3

Portugal GUE/NGL

2

Finland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

2

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
15

Poland IND/DEM

2

United Kingdom IND/DEM

2

Netherlands IND/DEM

2

Greece IND/DEM

1

Denmark IND/DEM

Abstain (1)

1

Ireland IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

Sweden IND/DEM

2

Czechia IND/DEM

Against (1)

1

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

committees/0
type
Responsible Committee
body
EP
associated
False
committee_full
Foreign Affairs
committee
AFET
rapporteur
name: BROK Elmar date: 2006-10-17T00:00:00 group: European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats abbr: PPE-DE
committees/0
type
Responsible Committee
body
EP
associated
False
committee_full
Foreign Affairs
committee
AFET
date
2006-10-17T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: BROK Elmar group: European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats abbr: PPE-DE
docs/2/docs/0/url
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docs/3/body
EC
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EC
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events/7/docs/0/url
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activities
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  • date: 2006-11-23T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2006-10-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: BROK Elmar
  • date: 2006-11-29T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2006-10-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: BROK Elmar docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-436&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0436/2006
  • body: CSL meeting_id: 2770 council: General Affairs date: 2006-12-11T00:00:00 type: Council Meeting
  • date: 2006-12-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=13023&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20061213&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-568 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0568/2006 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
commission
  • body: EC dg: Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations commissioner: REHN Olli
committees/0
type
Responsible Committee
body
EP
associated
False
committee_full
Foreign Affairs
committee
AFET
date
2006-10-17T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: BROK Elmar group: European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats abbr: PPE-DE
committees/0
body
EP
responsible
True
committee
AFET
date
2006-10-17T00:00:00
committee_full
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group: PPE-DE name: BROK Elmar
council
  • body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: General Affairs meeting_id: 2770 url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=2770*&MEET_DATE=11/12/2006 date: 2006-12-11T00:00:00
  • body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: General Affairs meeting_id: 2760 url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=2760*&MEET_DATE=13/11/2006 date: 2006-11-13T00:00:00
docs
  • date: 2006-11-10T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE380.814 title: PE380.814 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2006-11-20T00:00:00 docs: title: PE380.969 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2006-11-29T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-436&language=EN title: A6-0436/2006 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP
  • date: 2007-01-24T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=13023&j=1&l=en title: SP(2007)0303 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
  • date: 2007-02-21T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=13023&j=0&l=en title: SP(2007)0609 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
events
  • date: 2006-11-13T00:00:00 type: Debate in Council body: CSL docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=2760*&MEET_DATE=13/11/2006 title: 2760 summary: Foreign Affairs Ministers took note of the presentation by the Commission of a communication on the European Union's enlargement strategy and main challenges for 2006 and 2007, including a special report on the EU's capacity to integrate new members, as well as progress reports on candidate countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the other Western Balkans. They held an exchange of views. The Commission's communication (COM(2006)0649) will be used as input for debate on the EU's enlargement strategy at the European Council's meeting on 14 and 15 December, as well as for work on draft European Council conclusions. A number of delegations highlighted the need for thorough preparation by the permanent representatives committee and the Council ahead of the European Council's meeting.
  • date: 2006-11-23T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2006-11-29T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2006-11-29T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-436&language=EN title: A6-0436/2006
  • date: 2006-12-11T00:00:00 type: Resolution/conclusions adopted by Council body: CSL summary: The Council adopted conclusions on the enlargement of the EU regarding the accession of Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January 2007 and accession negotiations with Croatia and Turkey. Romania and Bulgaria: it looks forward to welcoming Bulgaria and Romania as Member States on 1 January 2007 and notes with satisfaction that the process of ratification of the Accession Treaty is close to completion. In line with the Council conclusions on Bulgaria and Romania of 16-17 October 2006, the Union institutions will cooperate with both member countries and verify progress in the areas of judicial reform and the fight against corruption and organised crime after accession; Turkey : the Council takes note of the Commission's report of 8 November 2006 (COM(2006)0649) and welcomes the findings and recommendations contained therein. It welcomes the continued progress made by Turkey in the reform process, but regrets that the pace of reforms has slowed down in 2006. It is essential that Turkey undertakes determined efforts to intensify the reform process and to implement it with determination, so as to ensure its irreversibility and sustainability. The substantial and technical preparation of the negotiations have progressed well. The Council recalls that, in line with the Negotiating Framework, the advancement of the accession negotiations continues to be guided by Turkey's progress in preparing for accession. In this context the Council notes that further significant efforts are required to strengthen freedom of expression, freedom of religion, women's rights, minority rights, trade union rights and civilian control of the military. In line with the Negotiating Framework, Turkey also needs to commit to good neighbourly relations and to the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter, including, if necessary, jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The Council recalls the declaration of the European Community and its Member States of 21 September 2005 and notes that Turkey has not fulfilled its obligation of full non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement. In this context the Council agrees that the Member States within the Intergovernmental Conference will not decide on opening chapters covering policy areas relevant to Turkey's restrictions as regards the Republic of Cyprus until the Commission verifies that Turkey has fulfilled its commitments related to the Additional Protocol. These chapters are: Chapter 1: free movement of goods, Chapter 3: right of establishment and freedom to provide service, Chapter 9: financial services, Chapter 11: agriculture and rural development, Chapter 13: fisheries, Chapter 14: transport policy, Chapter 29: customs union and Chapter 30: external relations. The Council will follow up and review progress made on the issues covered by the declaration of 21 September 2005. The Council invites the Commission to report on this in its forthcoming annual reports, in particular in 2007, 2008 and 2009, as appropriate. Croatia : the Council commends Croatia for the progress it has made in the past year. The accession negotiations have begun well and first results have been obtained. Croatia is now required to build on the progress made. The Council recalls that, in line with the Negotiating Framework, the advancement of the accession negotiations continues to be guided by Croatia's progress in preparing for accession. Particular attention should be paid to accelerating the pace of reforms in the areas of judicial and public administration reform, the fight against corruption, and economic reform. Rigorous implementation of Croatia's obligations under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, in particular in the areas of state aid and real estate acquisition, will be essential to maintain Croatia's positive momentum on the path to EU membership. The Council welcomes Croatia's full cooperation with ICTY and emphasises that Croatia needs to maintain it. Croatia also needs to pay due attention to good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation, including making the necessary efforts towards finding solutions to outstanding bilateral issues, in particular border disputes.
  • date: 2006-12-13T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=13023&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2006-12-13T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20061213&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2006-12-13T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-568 title: T6-0568/2006 summary: The European Parliament adopted an own-initiative resolution drafted by Elmar BROK (EPP-ED, D) on the Commission's Communication on the Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2006–2007. It pointed out that the incentive offered by the prospect of EU membership had undeniably contributed to the promotion of reforms, the consolidation of democracy, increased respect for human rights and increasing stability in neighbouring countries. It agreed with the Commission that past enlargements had been a success, strengthening the EU by stimulating its economic growth, reinforcing its role in the world and promoting the development of new EU policies. Enlargement in general was among the most effective instruments of foreign policy and conflict prevention policies of the EU. This success derived from the widespread support for past enlargements as the fulfilment of the initial mission of European integration to reunite the European continent after the political divisions of the twentieth century. However, lessons could be learned from past experience, notably the need to judge each candidate country on its own merits and to negotiate its accession in accordance with a timetable based on effective compliance with the Copenhagen criteria, as well as the need to avoid setting too early a date for final accession. Parliament felt that the Union should honour its commitments to the countries which already had membership prospects, provided that those countries complied with the Copenhagen criteria. Any further commitment to enlarge would require far more in-depth scrutiny than ever before of the question of the Union's integration capacity, be it from an institutional, financial or political standpoint. Therefore, Parliament regretted the Commission's failure to provide a sufficiently in-depth analysis of the issues which need to be resolved before the Union can proceed with further enlargements. The integration capacity of the Union rested fundamentally on three pillars: 1) its institutions and their legitimacy and ability to act and take decisions democratically and efficiently under new circumstances; 2) its financial resources and their overall contribution to economic and social cohesion; 3) the capacity of an enlarged Union to pursue its political objectives. The EU could only expect its citizens to have a positive attitude towards enlargement if they saw a Europe that delivers results, and accordingly, integration capacity could not be seen in isolation from the EU's capacity to act. Since the Nice Treaty would not provide a basis for further enlargements, Parliament urged Member States to conclude the constitutional process by the end of 2008. The institutional reform of the Union was a need per se, regardless of further enlargements. Parliament went on to point out that the Commission's Communication did not deal thoroughly with the financial implications of further enlargements and called on the Commission to provide clear and credible estimates of the budgetary implications before any further accession. This debate involved difficult issues which might have implications for the Union's common policies, including its cohesion policies. Furthermore, compliance with the Copenhagen political criteria should be given greater priority than had hitherto been the case in accession negotiations. In previous enlargements progress in the fields of justice, corruption and fundamental rights did not receive enough attention in the early phases of negotiations. Parliament recalled the clear European membership prospects which the Thessaloniki European Council of 19-20 June 2003 offered to the western Balkan countries, and stated that it remained fully committed to these prospects. Current enlargement financial instruments must be strengthened and re-focused so as to target, as a top priority, the fight against corruption and organised crime, with particular emphasis on reforming judiciaries, reinforcing public administrative capacity and improving cross-border cooperation. With regard to Turkey, Parliament stated that the Turkish refusal to fully comply with the terms of the Additional Protocol was seriously endangering the good progress of the accession negotiations, and it urged Turkey to cooperate in a constructive way to ensure full implementation of the Additional Protocol as soon as possible. However, Parliament deplored the fact that the efforts of the Finnish Presidency to find a solution to the current stalemate regarding the full implementation of the Additional Protocol the one hand and further alleviating the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot Community on the other were not successful. Parliament's right of assent should apply not just after the conclusion of the negotiation process but also before the opening of membership negotiations. Reminding Member States' governments and national parliaments that it was their responsibility to inform the public adequately about the benefits of past enlargements and the stakes involved in further enlargements, Parliament felt that they must provide the public with reasons for the decisions they take, unanimously, throughout the accession process. As part of a reinforced Neighbourhood Strategy, and in addition to the strategies concerning relations with other countries, the Council and Commission should consider an overall EU regional policy in the wider Black Sea area in order to build stronger bilateral or multilateral economic and political relations between the EU and all the countries of this area, particularly with regard to free trade, as is the case for the Central European Free Trade Agreement, investment, energy security and migration policy. This would grant partner countries a stable long-term perspective of institutionalised relations with the EU and provide the incentive necessary to foster the internal reforms required in the countries in question. While Russia was neither a candidate for EU membership nor part of the European Neighbourhood Policy, relations remained vital in the context of any future EU enlargement strategy. The EU must continue all attempts to develop a unique, wide-ranging partnership with Russia, encompassing trade and energy, but above all human rights and democratisation issues.
  • date: 2006-12-13T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other
  • body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: Former Council configuration
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/ title: Enlargement commissioner: REHN Olli
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
Old
AFET/6/41843
New
  • AFET/6/41843
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure EP 52
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
procedure/subject
Old
  • 8.20 Enlargement of the Union
  • 8.20.01 Candidate countries
New
8.20
Enlargement of the Union
8.20.01
Candidate countries
8.20.06
Institutional reform and enlargement
procedure/title
Old
Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2006-2007: The institutional aspects of the European Union's capacity to integrate new Member States
New
Enlargement strategy and main challenges 2006-2007: the institutional aspects of the European Union's capacity to integrate new Member States
activities
  • body: CSL meeting_id: 2760 docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=2760*&MEET_DATE=13/11/2006 type: Debate in Council title: 2760 council: General Affairs date: 2006-11-13T00:00:00 type: Council Meeting
  • date: 2006-11-23T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2006-10-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: BROK Elmar
  • date: 2006-11-29T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2006-10-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: BROK Elmar docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-436&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0436/2006
  • body: CSL meeting_id: 2770 council: General Affairs date: 2006-12-11T00:00:00 type: Council Meeting
  • date: 2006-12-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=13023&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20061213&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-568 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0568/2006 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
committees
  • body: EP responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2006-10-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: BROK Elmar
links
other
  • body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: Former Council configuration
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/ title: Enlargement commissioner: REHN Olli
procedure
dossier_of_the_committee
AFET/6/41843
reference
2006/2252(INI)
title
Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2006-2007: The institutional aspects of the European Union's capacity to integrate new Member States
legal_basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Strategic initiative
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject