Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-10-03-Speech-2-173"

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"Mr President, let us no longer use the word enlargement, but rather talk about accession, or even better, the reunification of Europe. The candidate states have spared no effort to meet the requirements. It is clear, though, that some countries have made more headway than others. This is why it is impossible to set a general date of accession; each country is welcome as soon as it has met the Copenhagen criteria, either before or after the European elections. It is remarkable that the national documents are often far more upbeat than the Brok report. We do not do the candidate countries any favours by scaling down the requirements or making out that the situation is better than it is. A great deal still needs to be done. This includes issues such as democracy, the constitutional state, decentralisation, the fight against corruption, EU regulations, industrial changes, consumer protection, environmental measures and agricultural reform. The EU must pull out all the stops in order to support the candidates in these areas and not raise any new barriers, of course. And all parties must aim for the shortest possible transitional periods, if any at all. It is better to have a sound accession at a slightly later date than a premature one which proves inadequate. I have noted a dangerous trend. Frustration in the candidate countries is mounting because they feel the accession process is taking far too long. And at the same time, there is growing resistance to accession among the population within the Member States. And even the European politicians have insufficient insight into the negotiating process. If this situation does not change, the whole reunification will be up in the air. I would therefore call on the government leaders to assume their responsibility and to stop this trend in its tracks. They must enter into a dialogue with their own people, and thereby convince them of the huge importance of peace, stability and prosperity across the entire continent, and of the historic importance of the reunification of Europe."@en1

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