December, 2000 – By agreeing - on a Treaty of Nice, the EU member states also removed the last formal obstacle to moving ahead with the EU enlargement process. The conclusions go on to say that "the time has now come to lend fresh impetus to the process". The summit broadly endorsed the enlargement strategy proposed by the Commission, and emphasised "the principle of differentiation, based on each candidate country's own merits", and "allowance of scope for catching up". The road map for the next 18 months will ease the way for further negotiations, bearing in mind that those countries which are the best prepared will continue to be able to progress more quickly, the summit concluded.
Meanwhile, the summit expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the candidates, and requested them "to continue and speed up the necessary reforms to prepare themselves for accession, particularly as regards strengthening their administrative capacity, so as to be able to join the Union as soon as possible". And it welcomed the establishment of economic and financial dialogue with the candidate countries.
2003 – The Union has declared that it will be ready to welcome new countries from the start of 2003.
The weighting of votes in the future council
The Treaty of Nice signed at the summit decided not only on voting rights for the current fifteen member states, but also on the votes that the candidates will have as they become member states. The full list is as follows:
Germany, United Kingdom, France and Italy – 29
Spain and Poland – 27
Romania – 14
Netherlands – 13
Greece, Czech Republic, Belgium, Hungary, Portugal – 12
Sweden, Bulgaria, Austria – 10
Slovakia, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania – 7
Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Cyprus, Luxembourg – 4
Malta – 3
Total – 342
A qualified majority in the new voting system will be 255 (74.56%).
The enlargement facing the EU today poses a unique challenge, since it is without precedent in terms of scope and diversity: the number of candidates, the area (increase of 34%) and population (increase of 105 million), the wealth of different histories and cultures. Third countries will significantly benefit from an enlarged Union.
The challenges of the future
After a half century of Community history, Europeans still have a lot of soul-searching to do: How far could and should the Union be taken in order to maximise the strength which derives from unity, without at the same time eroding identity and destroying the individual ethos which makes the richness of our nations, regions and cultures? Can they move forward in step, thanks to the natural harmony which favours consensus between 15 countries, or should they recognise divergences of approach and differentiate their pace of integration? What are the limits of Community Europe, at a time when so many nations, starting with the new democracies of central and eastern Europe and the Balkans, along with Turkey, are asking to join the process of unification in progress? How can the people of Europe get everyone involved in the Community undertaking and give them the feeling of a European identity which complements and goes beyond fundamental solidarity?
All these are questions of principle, fundamental questions the answers to which will themselves determine the specific and technical matters addressed daily by those who have the task of taking this Community undertaking forward.
Реферат опубликован: 24/03/2010