Bulgaria calls for ‘big bang’ enlargement in 2004

Bulgarian President Stoyanov suggests political EU membership for all candidates in 2004

Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2001 in Davos that the 12 candidate countries negotiating their accession to the EU should be given “political membership” in 2004.

Mr Stoyanov believes that it is in the interest of both advocates of enlargement and of deepening EU integration to have a ‘big bang’ enlargement to all the candidates at the same time. He added that full membership could follow later, when the candidates meet the economic criteria.

Enlargement Commissioner GýVerheugen rejected the Bulgarian idea of a ‘big bang’ enlargement, saying that it was not fair to those candidates which strove to fulfil the EU membership criteria.

“Political membership”, as suggested by Mr Stoyanov, would grant the candidates their seats in the EU institutions and decision-making bodies according to the distribution of votes decided at the EU Summit in Nice.

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