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Sweden and the EU Enlargement
 

On 24 February, 2000 the Center for the Study of Democracy hosted a meeting with Ambassador Michael Sahlin, who delivered a lecture on Sweden’s Support for the EU Enlargement, attended by senior representatives of the Privatization Agency, Sofia Municipality, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bulgarian Stock Exchange, the Open Society Foundation, the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company, the World Bank Mission, the Ministry of Finance, and experts of policy institutions.

Ambassador Michael Sahlin during the Lecture at the Center for the Study of Democracy

Ambassador Sahlin stated Sweden’s support for Bulgaria to access the European Union. He further outlined the priority issues of the process of EU enlargement:

  • how the process of enlargement could be combined in the future with its deepening;
  • the involvement of the Balkans and other East European regions;
  • finding a proper security and stability solution while having in mind the considerable economic differentiation and factors of increasing heterogeneity by adding 28 member-countries more;
  • the need of a comprehensive institutional reform which is to be reviewed at the forthcoming Inter-Governmental Conference;
  • the risk of allowing different membership pattern by categorizing the candidates in several groups;
  • finding proper solution of future problems including the public opinion originating of the enlargement;
  • the Security Pact issues, etc.

Finally, he summarized Sweden’s position and future active role towards the enormous task of Europe’s globalization.

Participants expressed support to the ideas outlined above and Ambassador Sahlin answered their questions regarding the eventual shaping up of a new policy in EU in respect of the differentiation; the priorities and forms for supporting Bulgaria; the balance between the political will for extending negotiations with other countries and the fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria; rendering support to the Ombudsman Institution in this country, etc.

 

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