EU enlargement by 2005 at the latest

Warsaw, May 9: Early 2005 is the latest possible date for European Union eastward expansion, commissioner for EU enlargement Guenter Verheugen said Tuesday.

According to Verheugen, all ten EU membership applicant countries will join by January 2005.

Verheugen dismissed as untrue a Der Spiegel report which quoted him as saying that January 1, 2005 was the earliest date of EU enlargement.

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Poland is not a law-abiding state yet as many of its institutions fail to respect binding laws, Ombudsman Adam Zielinski said in Warsaw Tuesday.

Zielinski, speaking to reporters about his to-date 4-year term as Poland’s ombudsman, said Poland was a law-governed country on paper only. “In practice the fulfilment of citizens’ rights in Poland is quite problematic”, he noted.

Zielinski mentioned the slowness of court procedures in Poland as an example of ignoring laws. He pointed out that although Poland formally had an independent judicial system the courts were ineffective because of delays in processing cases.

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Sejm Speaker Maciej Plazynski and representatives of parliamentary caucuses on Tuesday paid a visit to the Danish Folketing. This has been the first Polish parliamentary visit to the Danish parliament for the last 10 years.

The Polish parliamentarians were received by Folketing President Ivar Hansen.

“I am sure that the Danish parliament will support our accession to the European Union,” Plazynski said after the meeting. “I did not hear any negative opinions,” he added.

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Leader of the Peasant-Conservative Party (SKL) Jan Maria Rokita said his party may field its own presidential candidate if the Solidarity Election Action (AWS) decides not to hold primaries within the bloc affiliating a number of parties, including the SKL.

Rokita told RMF/FM radio and public tv’s Channel One on Tuesday that SLK is convinced that an AWS candidate should be chosen in primaries and if such elections are not held then “we will have significant problems with supporting Marian Krzaklewski”, the AWS leader.

The SKL leader confirmed that his party is holding talks on the possible candidacy of Sejm Speaker Maciej Plazynski.

XXX “Poland has no enemies in any country of the world, neither close or far from its borders,” Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek said Tuesday, opening an annual Sejm debate on Poland’s foreign policy.

The foreign minister included issues relating to EU integration, Poland’s security, its place in the region and its interests in the economic sphere among fundamental tasks of this policy.

“Poland is not only a secure country, it has also become a reliable and loyal memeber of NATO,” Geremek said. A year after its entry into the alliance Poland has succeeded to ensure the highest security standard, he noted.

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Compiled from the Polish Press Agency news service

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