The European Parliament on Wednesday called for a clearly-defined calendar on European Union enlargement that would allow candidate membership countries to organize their own European elections in June 2004.
Approving a report on enlargement and evolution of the situation in candidate countries, the parliament voted an amendment demanding that a detailed calendar for enlargement be issued at the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).
The IGC, which is formulating the institutional reforms needed to accommodate an EU nearly doube in size possibly in this decade, is to present its report to the EU summit which concludes the French EU presidency in December.
The Helsinki EU summit last December mandated the year-long IGC and envisaged bringing in the first new EU members by 2003.
A total of 12 countries are candidates for membership, not including Turkey, which was granted special candidate status contingent on its adhering to EU principles of human and minority rights.
Until now, neither the European Commission nor the EU presidency has mentioned a precise calendar for acceptance of new members.
Pierre Moscovici, French Minister for European Affairs, has said France did not envision setting such an enlargement calendar. – (AFP)
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