Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-118"

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"Mr President, the debate on an enlarged Europe and its neighbourliness policy is inextricably linked to the existential issue of European Union borders. The enlargement that we have spent the past few days celebrating is a good thing, but it will require effort, certainly in the first years, and not least in the financial field. It is therefore important that we should take a break now before we contemplate future enlargements. Romania and Bulgaria have 2007 as their target date for accession. This should remain as such, and we should not decide in favour of enlargement if it turns out that those countries are not ready for accession at that time. The same applies to Croatia. As far as Turkey is concerned, it should be made clear that it is not a European country and that, even it were, it does not meet the Copenhagen criteria. Turkey does, however, have a major role to play in the EU’s neighbourliness policy. That is the only realistic option, and probably means that more will need to be invested in neighbourliness policy than originally planned. Following the referendum in Cyprus, I can only regret that the Commission and Council have decided in favour of a recognition of the Turkish military occupation of the north of the island. Moreover, it would be interesting to know on what legal basis this recognition is founded. The funds which were intended for North Cyprus in the event of the referendum resulting in the island's reunification will be paid out all the same, despite the fact that the voters have decided differently. This is a new illustration of the democratic deficit in the European Union, despite all pledges to bring Europe closer to the citizen."@en1

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