Magazine article Europe-East

Eu Steps Up Campaign to Convince Candidates on Agriculture

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu Steps Up Campaign to Convince Candidates on Agriculture

Article excerpt

Information.

With the Accession Treaty less than two weeks from being signed, barring last minute technical hitches, Mr Fischler said that he was concerned over the quality of the information given to the EU's future citizens. He said that the idea of an information "campaign" was too military, and insisted on the need for objective information if the referenda on joining the EU being staged in each acceding country were to be made on sound criteria. "We shouldn't go there like missionaries", he said. On the specific issue of CAP Reform, currently being debated hotly by Member States, Mr Fischler said that acceding countries would be present in discussions, although without any decision-making power, from April 18 until accession in May 2004. He added that acceding countries' Agriculture Ministers had been involved with the discussion on the CAP all along, via informal meetings, and that they played a crucial role in disseminating information to the public through journalists. According to a survey released in January 2003 by Eurobarometer, 68% of Poles support CAP Reform, although only 36% were specifically aware of the CAP, but this represents higher support than in existing EU countries.

Warning.

Speaking at a conference in Hungary, the second largest country due to join the EU in the next wave, Franz Fischler said: "The cards are now laid out on the table for Hungary's accession to the EU. It is up to the Hungarian people to consider carefully the pros and cons and then decide freely in the referendum whether Hungary wishes to join. …

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