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France, Germany remain cool on EU enlargement - EUobserver

EU foreign ministers meeting on Saturday (28 March) sought to reassure western Balkan countries on their EU future, but the bloc's heavyweights, France and Germany, reaffirmed their reluctance to accept further enlargement so long as the EU's own institutional future is in limbo.

"Clearly there will be no enlargement if there is no Lisbon treaty. Everybody knows it, so why not say it?" French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner was reported as saying by Reuters after the informal foreign ministers meeting in Hluboka Nad Vltavou in the Czech Republic.

The meeting took place in Hluboka Castle, a 13th-century mansion in southern Bohemia which once belonged to Mr Schwarzenberg's family

The Lisbon treaty was designed to make the bloc more efficient in the aftermath of the two latest enlargements to 12 new countries, in 2004 and 2007.

It has still to be fully ratified by four EU countries - Ireland, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic - in order to enter into force, following its rejection by Irish voters in June last year.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:10:31 PM EST
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