The enlargement dossier will be a key issue on the agenda of the Council of EU Foreign Ministers taking place in Brussels on 13 December 2010. The goal is to relaunch this process, possibly starting with Turkey, to enable Europe to regain its vitality. The point was underscored by the Foreign Ministers of Italy, Franco Frattini; the UK, William Hague; Sweden, Carl Bildt; and Finland, Alexander Stubb, in an article in the International Herald Tribune on Saturday 11 December. The EU’s “historic mission to bring further stability, democracy and prosperity to the whole Continent is not yet finished”, explained the four Ministers.
We need to “revitalise the vision of an open Europe”, with Turkey included in the enlargement process because, Frattini and his colleagues underscored, “New members can help Europe return to economic dynamism and take on its proper weight in world affairs”. Turkey, for example, “is an influential actor on the world stage” , one whose economy will grow by 5% this year compared with a European average of 1%. A Turkish economy fully included in the EU “would create new opportunities for exporters and investors, and link us to markets and energy sources in central Asia and the near east”.
The Council in Brussels will examine progress on the accession bids by Turkey, Croatia, Iceland and FYROM. It will reaffirm its commitment to closer European integration for the Western Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo) in consideration of the vital role of such integration to the stability and future of the region.