Eu-Lithuania Joint Parliamentary Committee

Europe-East, April 24, 2003 | Go to article overview

Eu-Lithuania Joint Parliamentary Committee


The EU-Lithuania Joint Parliamentary Committee met in Vilnius on 14-15 April, and addressed the following recommendations to the institutions of Lithuania and the European Union:

The Enlargement Process and Developments within the European Union

1. The JPC congratulates Lithuania, the other Acceding countries and the European Council on the conclusion of the accession negotiations in Copenhagen on 12 and 13 December 2002, which will allow these countries to become Members of the EU on 1 May 2004, provided that ratification procedures are completed; The JPC notes with satisfaction the fact that the European Union's pre-accession strategy has proved a success, which has been based on the principles of own merits, differentiation and catching-up, leading to the successful closure of the negotiations. The accession of Bulgaria and Romania is part of the same inclusive and irreversible enlargement process. Depending on further progress in complying with the membership criteria, the objective is to welcome Bulgaria and Romania as members of the European Union in 2007;

2. emphasises that the accession of the ten new Member States will be an important step in building an even stronger and more effective European Union which will be needed to further stabilise the whole continent, consolidating democracy and peace, strengthening its economy and sustainable development, and incorporating a cultural and human dimension based upon the shared values of liberty, respect for fundamental rights, good governance and the rule of law;

3. furthermore, the JPC believes that an enlarged European Union will add weight to the EU's external relations, in particular to the development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy. Improved co-operation between current and future Member States will help combat international crime and terrorism. In order to add to the weight of the EU on the international scene an enlarged Union should speak with a common voice in world politics; the JPC also calls on the enlarged EU to develop on the basis of the recent Commission proposal, a new neighbourhood policy for a 'wider Europe' , aiming for a more coherent approach of an enlarged Union to all neighbouring countries;

4. believes that the new Member States, through their specific experiences, will add new perspectives to the process of European integration, which will have a positive impact on the development and cohesion of the Union;

5. welcomes the fact that the negotiations resulted in a solid a financial package for Lithuania which includes a cash-flow facility to ensure that at no point in the initial phase of membership, a new Member State finds itself worse-off than before accession;

6. the JPC welcomes the initiative of the European Parliament to invite parliamentarians from the candidate countries to participate as observers in the activities of the European Parliament once the Accession Treaty is signed on 16 April 2003; welcomes the overwhelming assent of the European Parliament to the membership of the ten candidate countries, as a part of the historic process of ending the division of Europe and consolidating the establishment of democracy across the continent;

7. hopes that in their preparations for the 2004 elections the political parties in Lithuania will give due regard to the equality of male and female representation;

8. the JPC calls upon the Member States to ratify the Accession Treaty so that it enters into force on the date foreseen and the new Member States can be welcomed as full Members of the European Union as from May 1, 2004;

9. the JPC welcomes the decision by Lithuania to hold the referendum on its accession to the EU on 10 and 11 May 2003 and urges the people of Lithuania to participate fully in the whole referendum process.

The European Convention

10. The JPC attaches great importance to the European Convention, in which representatives from the future Member States participate actively and make valuable contributions. …

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