HC Deb 22 February 2000 vol 344 cc935-6W
Mr. Colvin

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the future of the enlarged European Union in the light of the Helsinki European Council agreement. [109952]

Mr. Vaz

On 14 February the member states of the European Union convened an Intergovernmental Conference to make the institutional changes necessary to prepare for enlargement. The following day they launched accession negotiations with six countries (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovakia), increasing to 12 the total number of countries currently in negotiation. Both events represent important steps towards a swift and successful enlargement of the EU, in line with the Helsinki European Council conclusions.