Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-04-09-Speech-3-044"

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"Mr President, the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs welcomes the outcome of the negotiations with the ten candidate countries. Whilst it is gratifying that this round of enlargement will enable us to help overcome the grim legacy of conflict and division in Europe, we must also emphasise that the process has not yet been completed. Above all, we must not take public approval of enlargement for granted, either in the acceding countries or in the Member States. In this context, we believe that a great deal of information is needed, and we should beware of engaging in propaganda. Persuasion is the order of the day, and it is important, especially in border areas, that the efforts to persuade people are organised in such a way that they are well received by the general public. There are a few specific details to be added to these general remarks, particularly as regards the choice of 1 May 2004 as the accession date. In connection with this decision, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs welcomes the fact that, by that date, observers from the acceding countries will already be attending our Parliamentary sittings. We welcome the fact that we shall also have new Commissioners and new members of the Commission in general on the first of May. We consider it right and proper that the new Commission is to take up its duties quite soon afterwards, in November 2004. We deeply regret, however, that all of these decisions have been taken without Parliament having been consulted at all. We call on the Council, as a matter of urgency, to provide Parliament with early information on developments in the accession process and to involve us in good time. In general terms, we expect that many of the solutions which we have not really managed to find so far on the basis of the Treaty of Nice will be made possible by the work of the European Convention. We are pleased to note that the representatives of the acceding countries are also fully involved in this work. They will contribute to our consensus, to a consensus that will carry us forward in Europe."@en1

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