Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-05-Speech-3-046"

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". Mr President, I should very briefly like to answer Mrs Kinnock’s first point. I have the same impression that she expressed, because yesterday evening I was in Dakar, where I attended a meeting with the least advanced countries, and we spoke with them about enlargement. You are right, Mrs Kinnock; there is a certain degree of anxiety in developing countries as regards EU enlargement. It is, indeed, one of the characteristics of developing countries that they are anxious about many things, but there is particular anxiety about enlargement. I feel that we must put it across to them that enlargement is good news for them, and we have attempted to do this with a certain number of them. It is good news because the enlarged EU has more weight and is potentially stronger; because the enlarged EU has opened up markets to them with 70 million new consumers, whereas, until now, those new markets had been less open to them than ours; because the enlarged EU represents a rosy future for them, especially in terms of trade. I feel that these are strong arguments. The idea nevertheless persists in many quarters outside the EU that the EU is incapable of accomplishing enlargement at the same time as attending to other matters. I believe that they are wrong, and that the past has shown this to be a fallacious viewpoint. To conclude, we have a good case, certainly as regards the developing countries, and especially the ACP countries. There are, therefore, many points on which we can reassure them. On the second point, Mrs Kinnock, I am sure that the Commission as a whole will take this request and this wish on board, which will be passed on to the relevant person at the appropriate time."@en1

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