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.