EBRD head urges ‘clarity’ on EU’s enlargement prospects

The current “lack of clarity” about the EU’s enlargement prospects makes it “more and more difficult” to promote reforms in the candidate and applicant countries, said EBRD President Jean Lemierre.

The enlargement process has been a crucial incentive for reforms in the EU-10 states, and uncertainty about the future of this process may derail political and economic reform in the candidate countries, said Jean Lemierre, the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in an interview with the Financial Times

“We need to make the whole process of reforms in Eastern Europe sustainable. Without the process of EU accession, that is very difficult”, Lemierre said. “What happens now if we talk to Turkey or to Serbia and they get the impression in these discussions that they are no longer welcome in Europe?”, he asked.

Meanwhile, in his speech before the European Parliament outlining his plan of action, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that “if we stop enlargement or shut out its natural consequences, it wouldn’t, in the end, save one job, keep one firm in business, prevent one delocalisation. For a time it might but not for long. And in the meantime Europe will become more narrow, more introspective and those who garner support will be those not in the traditions of European idealism but in those of outdated nationalism and xenophobia”

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