28 April 1998
New EU members could join in 2003 ‘at earliest’

THE first crop of new European Union members could join as early as 2003, according to farm commissioner Franz Fischler.

Speaking at a conference in Vienna, Austria, on the economic impact of enlargement, Mr Fischler said he expected the first wave of countries to join within the next decade.

Six applicants – Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia – started negotiations on EU membership last month.

Mr Fischler said the agricultural sector in applicant countries had not been developing as well as expected, except in Hungary.

  • The Scotsman 28/04/98 page 27