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Komuniké ze setkání ministrů zahraničních věcí ČR, Estonska, Kypru, Maďarska Polska a Slovinska.(angl)

 

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the six Candidate Countries negotiating their accession to the European Union on the basis of the conclusions of the 1997 Luxembourg European Council meeting - Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia - met for the fourth time in Prague on 23 May 2001. (23.5.2001)

Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia

Joint Statement

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the six Candidate Countries negotiating their accession to the European Union on the basis of the conclusions of the 1997 Luxembourg European Council meeting - Cyprus*, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia - met for the fourth time in Prague on 23 May 2001. The Ministers reviewed the current stage of accession negotiations, discussed the enlargement process and touched on the evolving debate about the future of the European Union.

The Ministers recalled with satisfaction that at the Nice Summit the Member States concluded the Intergovernmental Conference and thus the last precondition on the Union´s side for the enlargement has been met. In this context, the Ministers jointly appreciated the confirmation by the European Council in Nice that the Union will be in a position Ato welcome those new Member States which are ready as from the end of 2002, in the hope that they will be able to take part in the next European Parliament elections. The participating countries expect that their citizens will take part in the 2004 elections as citizens of new Member States. The Enlargement Strategy Paper and the Road Map elaborated by the European Commission and endorsed by the European Council in Nice made the whole accession process more transparent and predictable. Thus it is of utmost importance that the new Enlargement Strategy and the Road Map are fully respected as any slippage could endanger the whole enlargement process. The Ministers believe that with the implementation of the Road Map the accession negotiations with the prepared candidates can be concluded in the first half of the year 2002. Towards that end the Ministers reaffirm their countries determination to be ready to assume the obligations arising from membership from 1 January 2003. The Ministers jointly call for implementation of the Enlargement Strategy in accordance with the fundamental principle of individual evaluation and treatment of each and every candidate country.

The Ministers expect that the European Council in Göteborg will give a significant impetus to the enlargement process by specifying the time-frame for each stage of the accession. In line with the conclusions of the European Council in Nice the necessary guidance for the successful completion of the process should be given.

The Ministers consider it of outstanding importance to continue the progress made until now under the Swedish Presidency. They appeal to the Member States to agree also on a Common Position on Free Movement of Persons as soon as possible. In accordance with the principles of accession conferences, the Ministers call for a differentiated and flexible approach also to the issue of free movement of labour which takes into account the economic, social and geographical realities both in the Member States and in the Candidate Countries based on relevant statistical data and scientific analyses. The Ministers also underline the importance of commencing substantial negotiations on agriculture during the forthcoming Belgian Presidency on the basis of the existing acquis.

The Ministers invited the Member States to avoid complicating the accession negotiations with candidate countries by creating undue linkages between different negotiating issues and by putting forward short term political interests.

The Ministers appreciated the declaration issued by the Member States in Nice calling for an intensive involvement of the citizens of Member and Candidate Countries in the debate on the future of the Union. The Ministers confirm that their countries are preparing for an active contribution to that debate assuming that they will participate at the next Intergovernmental Conference in 2004 as full members.

The Ministers agreed that the next meeting will be held in Cyprus.
Prague, 23 May 2001

*Cyprus represented by the Permanent Secretary of MFA, Ambassador M. Attalides

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