EU - Enlargement (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - October 15, 2012)
Q : Norbert Lammert, President of the German Parliament, spoke out against the medium-term enlargement of the EU, deeming it preferable to consolidate the existing EU. He opposes Croatia’s accession. What is France’s response with regard to this matter?
A : France’s position regarding Croatia’s accession is well known: it supports the principle of an accession that should take effect on July 1, 2013, as well as the European perspective opened to all countries in the region in 2000 at the Zagreb Summit.
France is keen to ensure that the accession of new members will not have a negative impact on the stabilization and strengthening of the Union. It has therefore always advocated an enlargement that takes the EU’s absorption capacity into consideration, is based on the principles of strict conditionality and whose progress is not determined by a political calendar but is based on the assessment, on a case by case basis, of each candidate’s own merits.
That’s why we wanted, together with our German partners, to introduce a specific monitoring mechanism in order to ensure Croatia’s continued progress between the conclusion of the negotiations and the date set for its accession.
The progress report issued by the Commission on October 10 also underscored the progress made by Croatia, even though further efforts are still needed. France will make sure that Croatia fulfills, by July 1, 2013, all the conditions required to become a member state of the EU.