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Brussels, 26/11/2001

THINKING ENLARGED: Verheugen receives strategic recommendations from the accession countries

Josef Janning, Bertelsmann Foundation, handed over the report “Thinking Enlarged” to EU Commissioner Günter Verheugen during a public presentation. Elmar Brok, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, and the Polish Minister for Europe, Danuta Hübner, gave comments on the report. The report has been written by an international group of experts which has been brought together by the Bertelsmann Foundation, Gütersloh, and the Center for Applied Policy Research, Munich.

The Group has formulated in its current report three priorities which the future new member states will and should address in an enlarged EU: democratic governance, comprehensive security, community-oriented solidarity. In particular with regard to September 11th the Group voted for the development of a coherence between the Union’s external and internal security policies which could provide guidance while building bridges to the direct neighbourhood of an enlarging EU. Consequently, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in an enlarged EU should be partially communitarised.

With regard to institutional aspects the role of the European Commission needs to be strengthened, and the role of the European Parliament should be stretched to all non-military aspects. These measures must be more closely linked with activities in the field of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). Thinking enlarged means for the JHA sector to establish a European Border Guard and increase police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters which should be generally communitarised.

The current debate on the future of the European Union has so far been dominated by views centred on the EU-15, whereas the accession countries have been pre-occupied with negotiating and preparing their entry into the Union. To overcome this gap, the Villa Faber Group on the Future of the EU, consisting of 18 experts in EU affairs from both the accession countries and the EU-15, has developed a position which the prospective new member states might adopt on future reforms of the European Union.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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