Greens call for more discussion on enlargement

Greens call for urgent discussion on EU reforms and enlargement following Irish rejection of Nice Treaty

MEP Friedrich Graefe zu Baringdorf, President of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “The dissatisfaction and the rejection of EU institutions is higher in many accession countries than it is in Ireland. The large rural population is particularly disappointed with the unilateral benefits the EU has drawn from the opening of the markets”.

Mr Graefe zu Baringdorf said that the Member States “enjoy huge trade surpluses with the accession countries and, in the future they expect profits of billions of euros from reconstruction and construction programmes” He warns that, nevertheless, enlargement is “wrongly seen as too costly” in the EU. He warns this attitude could lead to problems, including a “high degree of rejection” in the candidate countries.

The Greens stress that one of the problems is that the Commission does not give enough aid for the rural areas in the candidate countries through its SAPARD programme, designed to help the candidates prepare their agriculture for EU membership. The Greens say “rural development plays no role in the SAPARD programme”. They call for more money to be spent on rural development programmes in the 2002 budget line.

 

The Green/EPA group in the European Parliament called for an urgent discussion on reforming the EU and enlargement following the Irish "No" to the Nice Treaty and growing scepticism about the EU in the candidate countries.

 

The Commission has developed the SAPARD programme to prepare the future EU members for the management of EU funds. Only Bulgaria and Estonia have so far received the go-ahead to start implementing this programme.

Annual indicative budget allocations (in million euro, at constant 2000 prices)

Bulgaria Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Lithuania Latvia Poland Romania Slovenia Slovakia TOTAL

53.026

22.445

12.347

38.713

30.345

22.226

171.603

153.243

6.447

18.606

529

 

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