Enlargement is both a political necessity and a historic opportunity for Europe. It will ensure the stability and security of the continent and will thus offer both the applicant States and the current members of the Union new prospects for economic growth and general well-being. Enlargement must serve to strengthen the building of Europe in observance of the acquis communautaire which includes the common policies.
With that in mind, the European Council took note of the Commission reports on the effects of enlargement on the policies of the European Union, on alternative strategies in agriculture and on the progress of the pre-accession strategy for the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
The European Council takes note of the Council report on relations with the associated CCEE during the second half of 1995 (Annex 6).
The PHARE programme, as supported by the European Council's decisions at its Cannes meeting, and the continued activities of the European Investment Bank will allow an overall increase in the input for accession preparations.
The European Council reiterates that the accession negotiations with Malta and Cyprus will commence, on the basis of the Commission proposals, six months after the conclusion of the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference, and will take its results into account. It is pleased that structured dialogue with both countries began in July 1995 within the framework of the pre-accession strategy.
The European Council also confirms the need to make sound preparation for enlargement on the basis of the criteria established in Copenhagen and in the context of the pre-accession strategy defined in Essen for the CCEE; that strategy will have to be intensified in order to create the conditions for the gradual, harmonious integration of those States, particularly through the development of the market economy, the adjustment of their administrative structures and the creation of a stable economic and monetary environment.
The European Council calls upon the Commission to take its evaluation of the effects of enlargement on Community policies further, particularly with regard to agricultural and structural policies. The European Union will continue its review at its next meetings on the basis of reports from the Commission.
It asks the Commission to expedite preparation of its opinions on the applications made so that they can be forwarded to the Council as soon as possible after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference, and to embark upon preparation of a composite paper on enlargement. This procedure will ensure that the applicant countries are treated on an equal basis.
It also calls upon the Commission to undertake a detailed analysis as soon as possible of the European Union's financing system in order to submit, immediately after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference, a communication on the future financial framework of the Union as from 31 December 1999, having regard to the prospect of enlargement.
Following the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference and in the light of its outcome and of all the opinions and reports from the Commission referred to above, the Council will, at the earliest opportunity, take the necessary decisions for launching the accession negotiations.
The European Council hopes that the preliminary stage of negotiations will coincide with the start of negotiations with Cyprus and Malta.
The European Council expresses satisfaction at the fact that the Peace Agreement negotiated in Dayton was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995 and confirms its determination to make a substantial contribution to implementing it.
The European Council welcomes the adoption by the United Nations Security Council of the Resolution supporting the peace agreements signed in Paris and applying their provisions at both civil and military level.
With regard to civilian aspects, the European Council endorses the conclusions of the Conference held in London on 7 and 8 December 1995. It welcomes the appointment of Mr Carl Bildt as the High Representative and assures him of its full support.
The application of the Peace Agreement involves the implementation of a stable military equilibrium based on the lowest possible level of weaponry. The European Council hopes that the parties involved will take advantage of the opportunity for dialogue offered by the Conference to be held in Bonn on 18 December 1995.
It is now for the parties to shoulder their responsibilities in fully implementing the Agreement in order to bring an end to the war once and for all.
For its part, the European Union reiterates its willingness to make a contribution to the reconstruction of former Yugoslavia in the context of equitable international burdensharing. A preparatory conference will be held in Brussels on 20 and 21 December 1995 with a view to identifying the most urgent needs.
The European Council reaffirms the right of refugees and displaced persons to return freely and safely to their homes throughout the territory of former Yugoslavia and to obtain fair compensation as a fundamental right.
The European Council approved the Declaration in Annex 7.
The European Council is pleased that the conditions exist for establishing contractual cooperation relations between the Union and the FYROM and asks the Council to approve the negotiating directives before the end of 1995 with a view to concluding a Cooperation and Trade Agreement which takes full account of its aspirations.
In the light of the Cannes conclusions and bearing in mind the compromise proposal from the Presidency, the European Council reaffirms its desire to have the Association Agreement with Slovenia signed as soon as possible.
The European Council took note of the Commission report on the current state of and prospects for cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.
The Union has an interest in promoting political stability and economic development in that region. The European Council therefore urges the Commission to propose a suitable regional cooperation initiative to be presented to the Heads of State and of Government of the Council of Baltic Sea States at their Conference in Visby on 3 and 4 May 1996, and thereafter report to the European Council in Florence.
The European Council trusts that Russia will continue its action to promote stability, development, peace and democracy. It means to support its efforts. It wishes to strengthen permanently the ties between the European Union and this great country.
It is convinced that the development of cooperation in the field of security between the European Union and Russia is essential for stability in Europe.
It notes with satisfaction that the Interim Agreement with Russia signed in Brussels on 17 July 1995 is to come into force on 1 February 1996 and it urges the Contracting Parties to ratify the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement as soon as possible. It also welcomes the outcome of the Summit between the European Union and Russia which took place in September in Moscow. It confirms the European Union's overall political approach to its future relations with Russia, as formulated by the General Affairs Council on 20 November 1995 (Annex 8).
It approved a Declaration on the forthcoming holding of parliamentary elections in Russia (Annex 9).
It supports Russia's efforts to achieve complete integration into the international economy and its admission to the WTO and other international organizations.
It also confirms its support for Russia's accession to the Council of Europe in the near future.
The European Council reaffirms the readiness of the European Union to continue its assistance programme to the Republics of the former Soviet Union with the aim of supporting the process of political and economic reform which these Republics have initiated. It underlines the importance of adopting the new TACIS Regulation at the next General Affairs Council.
The European Council expresses satisfaction at the recent accession of Ukraine to the Council of Europe and supports its authorities' undertaking to continue the current process of economic reform. The Union continues to provide support for Ukraine through macroeconomic assistance and welcomes the important agreement reached with Ukraine on the definitive closure of the Chernobyl nuclear power station by the year 2000, in accordance with the timetable and conditions foreseen.
The European Council reiterates the priority it attaches to the development and strengthening of relations with Turkey and welcomes the assent given by the European Parliament which will enable the final phase of the Customs Union with Turkey to enter into force on 31 December 1995, together with the arrangements for strengthening political dialogue and institutional cooperation. It hopes that the Regulation on financial cooperation with Turkey will enter into force as soon as possible.
The European Council recalls the importance it attaches to respect for human rights, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms and strongly supports all those in Turkey endeavouring to put reforms into practice. In that spirit, it welcomes the measures already adopted by the Turkish authorities and urges them to continue along that path.
The Council reiterates the importance which it attaches to making substantial efforts to achieve a just and viable solution to the question of Cyprus in line with the United Nations Security Council resolutions, on the basis of a bizonal and bicommunity federation.
In the security field, the European Council welcomes the progress made within the Union on developing a common policy for the integration of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe into the European security architecture, and the place which Russia and Ukraine will have in it.
The European Council expresses its satisfaction at the approval by the Ministerial Council of the Western European Union, meeting in Madrid in November 1995, of the WEU contribution to the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference confirming the desirability of strengthening links between the European Union and the WEU. It takes note of the wish expressed by the WEU to contribute, as necessary, to the proceedings of the Intergovernmental Conference on security and defence aspects and to keep a close watch on their development. The European Council also takes note of the Reflection Group's contribution in this area.
It stressed the need to continue encouraging disarmament and nonproliferation within the framework of the common foreign and security policy. In this connection:
The Union welcomes the results of the OSCE Budapest Conference which are intended to reinforce the structures and capacities of the OSCE so that it can fulfil its everincreasing number of tasks, particularly in the field of preventive diplomacy.
It reiterates the European Union's intention of continuing to contribute actively to strengthening the OSCE and, in particular, to drawing up a common and comprehensive security model for the 21st century.
The European Council welcomed the adoption on 13 December 1995 in Royaumont, at the suggestion of the European Union, of the Declaration on the process of stability and good-neighbourly relations in South-eastern Europe.
The European Council welcomes the renewed impetus given to the Union's relations with Andorra and calls upon the Commission to submit appropriate proposals for developing new areas of cooperation.
The European Council underlines the great importance of the New Transatlantic Agenda and the Joint EU-US Action Plan signed at the EUUS Summit in Madrid on 3 December 1995 (Annex 10). It considers that this initiative constitutes a qualitative leap forward in strengthening our relations, moving on from a stage of consultations towards a new stage of concerted and joint action. It is resolved that the Union for its part should put fully into practice what was agreed in Madrid and to resume examination of this issue at the European Council in Florence.
It welcomes the initiatives put forward at the meeting of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue in Seville.
It hopes that other Atlantic democracies will share the goals of the New Transatlantic Agenda.
The European Council highlights the major significance of the results achieved at the Barcelona EuroMediterranean Conference and calls upon the Council and the Commission to put into practice the Barcelona Declaration and Work Programme (Annex 11).
The Barcelona Conference marked the start of a new stage in which the goal of securing peace, stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean region constitutes a common task for all parties to the new EuroMediterranean association. The "Barcelona spirit" must inform this ongoing process, which should culminate in the conclusion of a pact for the Mediterranean.
The European Council warmly welcomes the Agreements concluded with Tunisia, Israel and Morocco. It hopes that the negotiations under way with Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon will reach a rapid conclusion, and points out that the European Union is ready to negotiate such agreements with Algeria and Syria as soon as possible. In this connection it confirms its Cannes conclusions regarding the nature of the EuroMediterranean freetrade area.
It notes with satisfaction the recent presidential elections in Algeria and trusts that there will shortly be new moves towards restoring a normal political situation in the country through dialogue and the holding of free and aboveboard general and local elections. It notes that Algeria wishes to conclude a new association agreement with the European Union, and calls upon the Commission to submit draft negotiating directives to that end.
The European Council welcomes the Interim Agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, signed in Washington on 28 September.
The European Council deeply regrets the tragic assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and supports the undertaking given by the new Prime Minister, Mr Peres,
to take the peace process forward with the same resolve. It accordingly appeals for rapid progress to be made on the Syrian track and for all parties to step up their efforts to reach a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.
It welcomes the rapid disbursement of the EIB loans for ECU 250 million granted to the Palestine Authority, and hopes that the Commission will submit to it, at the earliest opportunity, draft directives for negotiating an agreement with the European Union. It similarly welcomes the implementation of the measures needed to coordinate the monitoring of the Palestinian elections.
It notes with satisfaction the progress made at the Amman Economic Summit and trusts that positive results will be achieved at the Ministerial Conference for Economic Assistance to the Palestinian People, to be held in Paris on 9 January 1996.
The European Union will continue to ensure that cooperation with Iran is conducted with all the guarantees necessary to avoid any contribution whatsoever to the acquisition of a military nuclear capacity.
In the context of respect for fundamental rights and freedom of expression, the European Union will keep up its efforts, within the framework of critical dialogue, to obtain a satisfactory solution in respect of the British writer Salman Rushdie and calls upon the Iranian authorities to respond constructively to its efforts. It requests the Council to keep a close watch on the matter.
The European Council stresses the significant progress made in the process of strengthening relations with Latin America. It requests the Council and the Commission to expedite implementation of the conclusions on enhancing cooperation between the European Union and Latin America in the period 19962000 (Annex 12).
It welcomes the signing in Madrid of the InterRegional Framework Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the European Union and Mercosur, the final objective of which is to achieve political and economic association.
It emphasizes that the Joint Declaration on Political Dialogue between the European Union and Chile is to be signed shortly. This marks an important step towards the early negotiation of a new agreement directed ultimately at political and economic association.
The European Council calls upon the Council and the Commission to begin negotiations as soon as possible with Mexico for a new political, economic and trade agreement which includes progressive and reciprocal trade liberalization, taking account of the sensitivity of certain products and in line with WTO rules.
It also declares its interest in renewing the San José dialogue between the European Union and Central America, on the basis of the communication recently submitted by the Commission.
It notes the wish expressed by the Andean Presidential Council to strengthen relations between the Andean Pact and the European Union, and calls upon the Commission to submit appropriate measures. It also considers an early renewal of the General Scheme of Preferences for the Central American and Andean Pact countries to be of particular importance, and asks the Council to adopt this at the earliest opportunity.
It considers that dialogue and cooperation should be continued with Cuba in order to lend active support to the process of reform under way, to foster respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and to broaden the scope of private initiative and the development of civil society. To that end, it asks the Commission to present, in the first half of 1996, draft negotiating directives for a trade and economic cooperation agreement, which will be examined by the Council in the light of developments in the political and economic situation in Cuba.
Lastly, it calls upon the EIB to step up its activity in Latin America in line with its financing procedures and criteria.
The European Council welcomes the signing in Mauritius on 4 November of the Agreement on the revision of the 4th ACPEC Convention, together with the Protocol on the Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden, as well as the immediate adoption of provisional implementing measures.
The European Council expresses its grave concern at the situation in Nigeria, confirms the sanctions adopted within the European Union and appeals once more to the Nigerian authorities to ensure full respect for human rights and a swift transition to democracy, failing which it reserves the right to take further measures.
To put an end to the violence, particularly in Burundi, and to ease the return of Rwandan refugees, the European Council emphasizes the importance of national reconciliation and stability in the Great Lakes region. It restates its support for the convening of the Conference on the Great Lakes region under the auspices of the United Nations and the Organization for African Unity, as well as the rapid appointment of a new special representative of the United Nations SecretaryGeneral to Burundi.
It welcomes the political dialogue which has begun between the European Union and the OAU, and particularly the Council conclusions of 4 December on preventive diplomacy, conflict resolution and peace-keeping in Africa (Annex 13).
It notes with satisfaction the negotiations under way with South Africa with a view to drawing up an agreement on creating a free-trade area and highlights the importance of these negotiations being brought to a rapid conclusion.
The European Council welcomes the adoption of the Council report which will serve as a basis for preparing the EuropeAsia Meeting to be held in Bangkok on 1 and 2 March 1996 (Annex 14).
It confirms the importance which the European Union places on the development of relations with China. It notes the conclusions adopted by the Council on a longterm policy for ChinaEurope relations.
The European Council reiterates its deep concern at the heavy prison sentence imposed on the Chinese human rights campaigner, Mr WEI GING XENG, and urges China to show clemency at his appeal and grant his swift and unconditional release.
The European Union will participate, in conditions to be negotiated, in the Korean Peninsular Energy Development Organization (KEDO).
The European Council, bearing in mind in particular the latest events in Djakarta in connection with the increased tension in East Timor, pledges support for any appropriate action which could contribute towards a just, overall and internationally acceptable solution to this issue and particularly towards the mediation efforts being made by the UN Secretary-General.
On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations, the European Union expressed its continuing support for the UN as a global forum fostering mankind's aspirations for peace, security and economic and social progress.
The European Union, whose Member States together constitute the UN's main financial contributor, expressed its concern in its Declaration of 25 October 1995 at the current critical financial situation of the United Nations. The European Council appeals again to all States which are members of the UN to pay their contributions to the normal budget and to peacekeeping operations, in full, on time and without conditions.
The European Council hopes, in this connection, that progress will be made on adjustments to improve UN structures and institutions, including the Security Council.