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Europe D66 European Parliament

No preferential treatment for Poland

   Sat 21/04/2001

The EU should not give Poland preferential treatment simple because it is a large country. Other candidate countries, like Slovenia and Estonia, should not be kept waiting because the Poles don’t finish their homework.


Suggestions by European leaders (FT 20.4.01), that Poland must in any case be in the first wave of new members of the European Union, are both dangerous and unfair. Dangerous, because they make a mockery of accession criteria. Since 1994 the EU has spelt out clearly the political, economic and “acquis communautaire” criteria that the candidates should meet. Any suggestion now, that geographical size or political importance can play a role undermine the rule of law and equal treatment as founding principles of the EU. Front runners such as Slovenia and Estonia should not be kept waiting because the Poles don’t finish their homework. Unless Europe ensures that its rules apply to all its members regardless of size, it is throwing away its credibility. Lousewies van der Laan Member of the European Parliament for D66


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