Poland makes U-turn on EU accession date

Poland agrees that joining the EU in 2005 would be acceptable

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski made a U-turn on his government plan to join the EU by January 2003. He said that entry into the EU in 2005 at the latest would be acceptable.

Poland hopes to increase its chances for rapid integration into the EU by taking a more flexible approach to negotiations amidst speculation that it could stall the whole enlargement process.

A comment in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently warned that “the divergence between accession candidates has become increasingly apparent, and Poland threatens to become the most problematic of them all”.

Some of the most advanced candidate countries, especially Hungary, Estonia and Slovenia, fear that their accession to the EU could be delayed because of Poland, in addition to being sidetracked by elections in Germany and France in 2002.

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