France dampens hopes for early enlargement

France dampens candidates’ hopes for an early EU membership by categorically refusing to set enlargement dates in Nice.

France dampened the expectations of the candidate countries of an early entry into the EU by categorically refusing to set the date for the beginning of enlargement. The EU summit in Nice in December will not announce enlargement dates, according to the French EU Presidency.

French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine said in Versailles on 17 October that “demagogical promises, made to certain candidate countries, are one of the problems in the enlargement”.

Védrine stressed that candidate countries have to concentrate on reforms to bring their economies and legislation up to EU level.

“Candidate countries do not need advocates, they need reformers and negotiators,” said Vedrine at a Conference of Community and European affairs committees of the Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC). He recalled that no date was set in previous enlargement processes. French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine said in Versailles on 17 October that “demagogical promises, made to certain candidate countries, are one of the problems in the enlargement”.

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