Perilous Times and The Revived Roman Empire
Belgian EU presidency would support Superstate enlargement
Belgium will support the enlargement of the European Union to include
Croatia, Iceland and Turkey during its forthcoming presidency of the
Published: 8:25PM BST 28 Jun 2010
The Telegraph UK
Olivier Chastel, the Belgian secretary of state for EU affairs, in a
joint news conference with Spanish counterpart Diego Lopez Garrido,
raised the possibility of the opening of a new chapter in negotiations
with Turkey in the coming months after Spain, which currently holds the
EU presidency, backed Ankara's bid despite resistance from France and
Belgium takes over the six-month rotating EU presidency from Spain on
The EU began membership talks with Turkey in 2005 but the process has
made slow progress. Only 12 of the 35 policy chapters, which all EU
candidate countries must successfully negotiate prior to membership,
Eight chapters remain totally blocked due to Ankara's failure to open
its borders to EU member Cyprus.
EU leaders agreed on June 17 to open membership negotiations with
Iceland despite differences over whale hunting and a bank collapse that
hit British and Dutch investors.
Croatia has said it hopes to wrap up talks to join the European Union
by the end of the year and become a member by 2012.
Hungary, which takes over the six-month rotating EU presidency on
January 1 2011, "hopes to sign the accession treaty with Croatia"
during its term in charge, Hungarian secretary of state for EU affairs
Eniko Gyori told the news conference.
"The Spanish presidency has done good work in this area. We hope that
the progress will continue under the Belgian presidency and that we
will be in a position to conclude and sign with Croatia," he said.
Croatia would be the 28th member of the EU and only the second, after
Slovenia, among the six former Yugoslav republics.