EU foreign ministers approved a protocol today adapting a customs union with Turkey to the 10 new member states, including Cyprus, in so doing they brought membership negotiations with Ankara one step closer. This ‘haste’ – cdecent or indecent – is not proving popular with everyone. The EU Observer is reporting that enlargement is definitely *off* the agenda for this weeks summit and EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner has already indictated that in her view there should be a slow-down in enlargement.
This is being interpreted as meaning that Austria may even have reservations about Romania, and Bulgaria:
A senior official from one new member state said there were some signals, particularly from Austria, that it could be difficult to ratify the accession treaties of Romania and Bulgaria, due to join the bloc next in 2007.
Finally this does seem to be evidence of ‘indecent haste’:
Diplomats said EU president Luxembourg was pressing Ankara to sign the accord within the next three weeks, and if possible before Thursday’s EU summit, to cut short any attempt to call the negotiations into question in the light of public concern shown in the French and Dutch referendums.