Poland makes more concessions to EU

Poland makes concessions in enlargement talks to speed up its integration into the EU

Poland wants to make sure that it is among the first candidates to join the EU in 2004 or 2005. It is warning that any delay of the process might turn public opinion, which has had to deal with a number of difficult reforms to satisfy membership criteria, against the EU.

 

Poland made several concessions to the EU in an attempt to speed up its membership negotiations and ensure its place in the first wave of enlargement. Poland's chief negotiator, Jan Kulakowski, said in Warsaw on 11 April that the Polish government had reduced its demands for transition periods in the tax policy area.

 

Poland had already made concession in March, when it dropped several requests for transition periods in the environmental area amid signs that the country is lagging behind other candidates. Enlargement Commissioner GýVerheugen hopes that competition among candidates will spur up the reforms, necessary for EU membership.

Poland has been uneasy about making concession, though. Mr Kulakowski called on the EU to show greater readiness to compromise. He was reported as saying in the European Parliament on 10 April that "making accession conditional upon a willingness to drop transition periods was a short-sighted policy".

 

Mr Kulakowski announced that Poland is also looking into modifying its negotiating positions in the areas of energy, transport and company law.

 

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