Supplementary evidence from Melanie Johnson
MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Competition, Consumers
and Markets, Department of Trade and Industry
During my replies to questions from Members
of the Committee on 12 March 2003, I promised that I would respond
on the issue of the integration of the new Member States into
the European Union.
The position is broadly as follows. It is intended
that the Treaty and Act of Accession will be signed on 16 April
2003. From that time onwards, all new Member States will be fully
involved as active observers in the proceedings of the Council,
have rights to speak in Council and other EU meetings and will
also receive most papers.
Subject to approval by referenda, the accession
countries will become Members of the European Union with effect
from 1 May 2004. From that date, they would have full voting rights
and the acquis of the Union would apply within the Members, subject
to any agreed transitional arrangements.
I hope this explains the position.
17 March 2003