Council urged to change plan for financing of enlargement

The European Parliament President Pat Cox has
urged the Council to give the Parliament a say in the financing
of EU enlargement.

An amendment to the Accession Treaty would require
reopening the negotiations on the financial budget between
the 15 Member States and 10 candidate countries. The
Council may opt for a revision of the 2004-2006 financial
perspective by raising the spending ceiling so that the
Parliament can have its say on expenditure for the new
Member States.

 

Mr Pat Cox

called on the Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who
currently presides over the Council, to solve this problem.
The problem was brought to the Parliament's attention by
its legal service which warned that the current situation
could cause legal problems in the future.

The political groups in the European
Parliament

have sent a warning signal to the Council by not putting
the ratification vote on the agenda of the April
plenary.

The Commission

said it was convinced the dispute between the Parliament
and the Council over the financing of enlargement would not
delay the signature of the Accession Treaty on 16 April
2003.

 

There have been warnings from the European Parliament that
it could refuse to ratify the Accession Treaty with the 10
future Member States on 9 April unless the Member States
modify the Copenhagen budget compromise, attached to the
Treaty as Annex XV. The Accession Treaty effectively takes
away from the Parliament its power of co-decision over the
EU budget by incorporating the budgetary transfers to the
new Member States.

 

The Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER)
decided on 12 March to use the Commission's proposal for a
Decision on the adjustment of the financial perspective for
enlargement as the basis for the Council's discussion of
this issue.

The Greek Presidency is to contact the
European Parliament in the next days to find out whether
the Commission's proposal is a satisfactory basis for
agreement.

 

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