Merkel against further expansion of the EU

22nd September 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 September 2006, BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday ruled out expanding the European Union after Romania and Bulgaria join and the EU decides whether Turkey qualifies for membership. Merkel told a forum on the future of the EU that there should be no further enlargement "for the foreseeable future," proposing instead a "good-neighbourly policy" to strengthen relations with states on the EU's outer borders. Merkel stressed that Turkey needed to fulfil all the criteria for membership, includin

22 September 2006

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday ruled out expanding the European Union after Romania and Bulgaria join and the EU decides whether Turkey qualifies for membership.

Merkel told a forum on the future of the EU that there should be no further enlargement "for the foreseeable future," proposing instead a "good-neighbourly policy" to strengthen relations with states on the EU's outer borders.

Merkel stressed that Turkey needed to fulfil all the criteria for membership, including a solution to the problem of northern Cyprus, which is only recognized by Ankara.

On Tuesday, the EU Commission announced a delay till November 8 in its release of a report on whether Turkey had made progress in reforms to qualify for EU membership.

The Commission is due to announce on September 26 whether Bulgaria and Romania meet the criteria to join the 25-nation bloc on January 1, 2007 or will have to wait until 2008.

In addition to Merkel, EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and several heads of government from western and eastern Europe are taking part in the two-day forum.

DPA

Subject: German news

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