Today, the Commission has published its progress reports and strategy paper on the 13 candidate countries. On this occasion, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen states:
”I am very pleased with the reports that the Commission has presented on the 13 candidate countries.
The Commission concludes that ten countries have progressed so far that they will be able to complete the negotiations this year.
This is a very positive conclusion. The Danish EU Presidency will recommend that the EU Heads of State or Government support the Commission's evaluations at the forthcoming Summit on 24 and 25 October in Brussels.
It is now up to the EU Member States to complete the internal negotiations on the EU offer as concerns budget and agriculture at the Summit in Brussels. With these completed, the concluding negotiations with the candidate countries may commence, so that we may complete the enlargement negotiations at the Copenhagen Summit in December.
The Commission indicates its willingness to support Bulgaria and Romania in their endeavours to become ready for accession in 2007, and proposes a number of further initiatives which may contribute to achieving this goal. I fully concur with this position. We must make it clear that the enlargement process will continue, also after the Copenhagen European Council.
The Commission finds that Turkey has made considerable progress towards fulfilling the political Copenhagen criterion, and the Commission calls for a strengthening of relations between Turkey and the EU. Also on this issue I am in agreement with the Commission. On this basis, and in the light of developments until December, new decisions on the next stage of Turkey's candidature may be made at the Copenhagen European Council.”