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3. 4.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/69

(98/C 102/101) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2600/97

by Bill Miller (PSE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Enlargement of the Union

Does the Commission think that the Amsterdam Treaty was a success?

Answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission

(17 October 1997)

The Amsterdam Treaty marks the beginning of a new stage in the Community's history. Important progress has
been made in laying the foundations for a more democratic, more humane Europe.

The Treaty meets the Commission's aspirations on a number of very important issues: employment, social
affairs, justice and home affairs, the role of Parliament, and the Union and its citizens.

However it is disappointing with regard to the extension of majority voting in the Council and two other issues
which are dealt with in an institutional protocol annexed to the Treaty, namely the size of the Commission after
enlargement and the distribution of votes in the Council.

Lastly, the Amsterdam Treaty constitutes yet another step towards the unification of Europe and paves the way
for the next round of enlargement. However, action needs to be taken in good time to strengthen the institutions
and improve the way they work, as the protocol referred to above points out. In ‘Agenda 2000’ (1) the
Commission stated that certain problems required rapid solution in order to facilitate decisions about

(1) Doc. COM(97) 2000 final.

(98/C 102/102) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2601/97

by Bill Miller (PSE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Enlargement of the Union

As a result of the barriers to enlargement caused by the absence of institutional reform in the Amsterdam Treaty,
does the Commission agree that the monies earmarked to assist Central and Eastern European countries towards
accession to the European Union should be granted over a longer period of time?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission

(6 October 1997)

The Commission refers to its reply given to the Honourable Member’s written question 2599/97 (1). In its Agenda
2000 report, the Commission drew attention to the importance of strengthening the institutions and their
functioning in good time, as foreseen by the protocol on the future of the institutions annexed to the draft treaty.

The task to accomplishing the necessary institutional reforms complicates the enlargement process, but does not
necessarily delay it. The length of the pre-accession periods will depend primarily on the success of the efforts
that each candidate country is willing and able to make in their preparations for membership. Through its
proposals for a reinforced pre-accession strategy, including accession partnerships and a doubling of financial
assistance, the Commission has demonstrated its commitment to providing all candidates with necessary
assistance in this task.

(1) See page 68.