Memorandum from the Secretary of State
for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
PROSPECTS FOR THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL COPENHAGEN,
12-13 DECEMBER 2002
1. The Copenhagen European Council should
be the final stage in the enlargement negotiations with 10 candidate
countries from Central and South-Eastern Europe. There will be
a progress report from the Chairman of the Convention on the Future
of Europe, Valery Giscard d'Estaing. Heads are also expected
to endorse a note on the Drugs Action Plan, and may consider latest
developments in the telecommunications sector, in the negotiations
on a package agreement on tax issues, and on European Security
and Defence Policy (ESDP). On present planning, Foreign Ministers
will discuss CFSP1
Iraq, and possibly Wider Europe and terrorism. Heads of Government
may also discuss Council reform.
2. Copenhagen is primarily about enlargement.
We expect the Copenhagen summit to conclude negotiations with
the 10 candidate countries hoping to accede to the EU in 2004.
This is in line with the objective set by the Prime Minister in
2000: that the candidates join in time to participate as Members
in the June 2004 European Parliament. We welcome the prospect
of achieving this historic goal of ending the postwar division
of Europe, and of reinforcing the stability, prosperity, and security
of our continent.
3. The Copenhagen European Council will
agree the financial package for enlargement This will be based
on the decisions reached at the Brussels European Council in October,
which set aside a significant amount of money for the candidates,
focussing on their developmental needs, and in line with their
capacity to absorb EU funds. Brussels also agreed that no candidate
should be worse off after enlargement: in other words, that they
should get at least as much in 2004, when they have joined, as
they get in 2003 in pre-accession funds.
4. The Presidency aims to finalise as much
as possible of the outstanding negotiating issues before Copenhagen.
We support this aim. There is limited scope for further concessions.
Our objective will be to ensure that the European Council agrees
a fair and realistic outcome for the candidates, one which remains
within the overall financial ceilings agreed at Berlin in 1999,
and one which respects the cap on agricultural payments agreed
at the Brussels European Council. Brussels also confirmed that
the own resources acquis would apply to the new Member States
from accessionthis includes candidates' contributions to
the UK abatement.
5. We expect Copenhagen to confirm 1 May
2004 as the date of accession for the first 10 candidates. The
financial package has so far been based on a working assumption
of a 1 January accession. We anticipate that the Council will
agree that the candidates' contributions should be reduced on
a pro rata basis to reflect the later date, but that most of their
receipts in 2004 will remain unaffected. This will go some way
to addressing candidates' concerns about cashflow in their first
year of membership.
6. On Cyprus, our aim is for the European
Council to agree on the admission of a reunited Cyprus to the
EU. This will depend on progress in the Cyprus settlement talks.
Decisions at Copenhagen on Cyprus will be in line with the Helsinki
European Council conclusions, since reaffirmed by other European
Council meetingsie that a political settlement would facilitate
accession, but would not be a precondition for it, and that in
reaching a decision all relevant factors would be taken into account
7. We want Copenhagen to signal a step forward
in relations with Turkey, by giving the Turks a clear prospect
of the opening of accession negotiations, subject to their meeting
the Copenhagen political criteria.
8. The European Council will also consider
the path to accession for Romania and Bulgaria, who will continue
with their accession negotiations next year. We expect the European
Council to endorse Commission roadmaps detailing how and where
Bulgaria and Romania need to carry out reforms in order to be
ready to join the EU in 2007. We support the Commission's proposals.
9. As mandated by the Seville European Council,
the Presidency will report to Copenhagen on reform of the Presidency
system. Discussions to date have shown that there is broad agreement
on some key principles which should form the basis of any future
improved coordination, consistency
and transparency in the Council's work;
equality between Member States.
10. The Presidency has to date focussed
on three possible models for reform (a majority of partners can
support the first of these, though opinion varies as to whether
this should be a final position or a first step in the reform
Model 1: maintains the current rotating
Presidency but extends cooperation and introduces burden-sharing
between present and future Presidencies.
Model 2: an "institutional"
Presidency for the Council's coordinating chain (ie meetings of
the General Affairs and External Relations Council, when meeting
in the General Affairs format and Coreper) with either a rotating
or elected Presidency for other Council activities, including
Model 3: a Team Presidency (composition,
size, term not yet determined), perhaps retaining a six-monthly
rotating component for the coordinating groupings.
11. There may also be discussion of the
options for strengthening the role of the CFSP High Representativeand
of the idea of an elected President of the European Council (which
could be combined with either models 2 and 3).
12. The Presidency envisage informal discussion
of the options by Heads of Government at Copenhagen, but they
do not consider the time is right for decisions on immediate reforms
(over and above those agreed at Seville). We would be happy with
the proposals in Model 1 as an interim step to more fundamental
reforms, requiring Treaty change, at the IGC. But we shall be
seeking to ensure that our preferred optionsinter alia
an elected President of the European Councilremain part
of the discussion at Copenhagen. The European Council will also
decide whether the Council should send a contribution on this
subject to the Convention. We believe it should.
13. The Seville conclusions asked the Council
"to study the question of the use of languages in the context
of an enlarged Union and practical means of improving the present
situation without endangering the basic principles". At Copenhagen,
Heads of Government will take note of a report on this issue.
This report will consider the translation and interpretation problems
which will face the Council in an enlarged Union. It will also
set out three options: (i) adjusting the current system; (ii)
introducing a "request and pay" system; and (iii) defining
a limited standard interpreting regime. Heads of Government are
expected to agree a mandate for further work by the Presidency.
14. Giscard d'Estaing will give a progress
report on the Convention's work to date. This is likely to focus
on the reports of the 10 Working Groups intended to form the basis
of a draft constitutional text (for which he has al ready produced
15. On CFSP issues, we expect Foreign Ministers
to discuss Iraq and the situation in the Middle East. Foreign
Ministers may also discuss Wider Europe, including EU policy towards
Belarus and, possibly, terrorism.
16. The European Council will take note
of a Presidency progress report on ESDP, which is likely to focus
on the capability increases necessary to meet the Helsinki headline
goal, and progress in EU-NATO relations.
17. We expect the European Council to endorse
a Note from the Justice and Home Affairs Council on the mid-term
review of the EU Drugs Action Plan. This will emphasise the need
for more effective action at EU level on the most significant
drugs (heroin, cocaine and crack-cocaine) to tighter deadlines.
It will also make clear the need for continuing work in Afghanistan
to eliminate the poppy crop. The UK wants to see implementation
of the Action Plan as quickly as possible.
18. We expect Heads at Copenhagen to receive
a report on negotiations on the Tax package initiated at the Feira
European Council in 2000. The UK is a strong supporter of the
19. In October President Chirac wrote to
colleagues to express concerns about the state of the telecommunications
sector in Europe. He considers the sector to be in crisis, in
particular as a result of the high costs paid by telecoms companies
for third generation (3G) licenses. He has submitted a number
of suggestions for concerted EU action. These proposals have now
been submitted to the Telecoms Council for its meeting on 5 December.
Depending on the results of that Council, Heads of Government
may give further consideration to this issue in Copenhagen.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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