Bumpy road ahead for enlarged EU, says Dehaene

Jean-Luc Dehaene presented his views on the Intergovernmental Conference at a conference on the hopes and fears of businesses towards the Constitution in Brussels.

Speaking at a conference on 'Europe's Future Constitution: The American and European Business Response' organised by the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU), Jean-Luc Dehaene, Vice-President of the Convention, praised the stabilising impact the EU has had on the new Member States over the last 10 years.

However, Mr Dehaene emphasised the difficulties facing the enlarged EU as institutional changes and financial reforms will take a few years to be approved and become effective. In the meantime, the enlarged EU will have to make do with existing arrangements.

Mr Dehaene was not overly optimistic about the progress of the ongoing intergovernmental conference (IGC). He welcomed the constructive and efficient way in which this IGC had been prepared by a Convention for the first time, but expressed concern that the Member States could unravel the Convention's draft text. He warned participants not to expect too much from the IGC.

Other sessions at the conference covered the hopes and fears of both US and EU businesses for the Constitution, especially with regard to the creation of a stable legal framework that business can rely on. "I believe that the Constitution will lead to more openness and transparency for business", said Ferdinando Beccalli, CEO of General Electric EMEA. "Improving the tranparency of the EU is integral to legal certainty, which is necessary to create a sound business environment in Europe."

EURACTIV was the official media partner of the event.


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