04THEHAGUE3219 / 2004-12-09 12:03:00
Embassy The Hague
                C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 003219 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/08/2014 
TAGS: NL, PREL, KNNP, IR, IS, TU, CR, RO, SU, UP, EUN 
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/EU: EXPECTATIONS FOR DEC 13 GAERC 
 
REF: A. STATE 258831 
 
     B. BRUSSELS 5186 
 
Classified By: POLCOUNS Andrew Schofer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
 1. (C) Summary. Emboffs met with Jaap Werner, Director, 
Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on December 8 
to deliver points reftel and December 9 with Joep Wijnands, 
the Deputy Director, and Derk Oldenburg (MFA Dep Dir for 
European Enlargement). Werner expected smooth sailing on 
Bulgaria, a troubled "yes" for Romania, a date for Croatia, 
and many open questions still on Turkey.  Discussion of 
Ukraine is unpredictable given the swiftness of events. 
Other topics reftel are not expected to receive much 
discussion.  Besides reftel topics, the GAERC will also 
discuss Iran, Sudan and the EU's action plan for Israel.  End 
summary. 
 
EU ENLARGEMENT 
 
2. (C) -- Bulgaria:  Werner said that Bulgaria remains "on 
track" and does not seem to be affected by the 
discussions/strategizing over the other three. 
 
-- Romania:  On Wednesday, Werner said that Romania's 
accession process has "become itchy and tricky" after 
election fraud reports (ref b).  Some Member States are 
reconsidering their previous support, and "it could be ugly" 
in the Council. However, the EU's strong desire to keep 
Bulgaria and Romania together seems to have won out over 
Commission concerns over JHA and Competition (ref x).  On 
Thursday, Oldenburg said that negotiations were "de facto 
completed late Wednesday, December 8 at the DepCOREPER level 
in Brussels."  The GAERC will formalize the decision;  the 
negotiations of the IGC will officially close the next day 
(December 14).  He expected Council conclusions not to refer 
to specific problems in JHA or Competition.  However, Romania 
will be under very strong Commission monitoring throughout 
2005.  Council decisions on their compliance will be subject 
to QMV, rather than consensus, meaning it will be easier to 
take negative decisions, such as pushing Romania's accession 
back from 2007 to 2008 (meaning a single champion of Romania 
could not block the delay).  The issue of greatest concern, 
according to Oldenburg, remains the implementation of 
Romania's new competition legislation (already harmonized 
with the EU in large part), as well as passage of laws still 
pending as well as JHA corruption.  The crux on the 
Competition side seems to be education of bureaucrats in 
local/regional competition authority offices throughout the 
country (around 40, he guessed) where workers do not 
understand the new laws or their obligations under it 
especially with regard to state subsidies.  As added 
incentive to reform, Romania has been clearly told that if 
implementation failures remain after accession, then they 
would certainly face expensive, complicated court cases filed 
by the Commission to bring them into line, Oldenburg 
concluded. 
 
-- Croatia:  "We know they are not doing all they can" to 
capture Gotovina, Werner admitted.  The question remains "how 
high a price to demand from Croatia to get a date."  The 
Dutch expect the Council to give a date in the end, although 
privately Werner acknowledged our point that doing so would 
remove much leverage over Croatia to comply with the ICTY. 
He also agreed that letting Croatia off the hook would weaken 
the multilateral process at the UN, which the EU otherwise 
champions at every turn.  Heads of state at the December 
December 17 Council meeting will decide how strong to make 
the link between ICTY cooperation and accession negotiations. 
 
-- Turkey:  The Heads of State and Government will discuss 
Turkey over dinner Thursday night, December 16, in Brussels, 
and the discussion is expected to continue into Friday, when 
Werner hoped it would conclude.  The answer remains elusive 
for the question of how movement by Turkey to recognize 
Cyprus will be enough to clinch the deal, he said.  (Note: 
Werner said the heads of state at the Council would discuss 
the candidate countries over dinner as well.) 
 
Ukraine 
------- 
 
3. (C) The GAERC will discuss Ukraine, but the presidency is 
not attempting to script the discussion since events are 
moving so fast.  It will be necessary to make a decision on 
the proposed Action Plan (part of the European Neighborhood 
Policy) regarding whether Ukraine should proceed along the 
same track as before given the upheaval there and recent 
developments in EU-Ukrainian relations.  Ukraine will be 
discussed both at the GAERC and at the December 16 Foreign 
Ministers' preceeding the European Council summit.  Depending 
on events, conclusions may be issued at the GAERC and/or at 
the summit. 
 
4. (C) Werner said the Dutch believe things in the Ukraine 
have gone "as well as could be expected."  Although the EU 
intervention is "not according to the book" given the 
prominent participation of Poland and Lithuania, it is 
working.  Werner stressed that Polish president Kwasniewski 
is keeping his colleagues briefed on his conversations. 
 
Middle East 
----------- 
5. (U) The Dutch do not expect much beyond what has already 
been expressed by the EU (Solana's short-term plans, EU 
support for Palestinian elections, etc.)  He did not rule out 
the possibility that Solana might submit some thoughts on 
additional medium-term plans to the Council to stimulate 
discussion. 
 
Colombia 
-------- 
 
6. (C) Werner did not respond to the specific points, 
including the call to disburse EU funds "more efficiently," 
saying only that US and EU objectives were generally the 
same, and noting that Colombia is not a discussion item for 
the GAERC.  The conclusion has already been agreed by 
COREPER, but Werner said he had not yet read it. 
 
Great Lakes 
----------- 
 
7. (U) Werner agreed with reftel points made, but said the 
subject is not expected to be a major item for discussion at 
the GAERC. 
 
Other issues:  Iran, Israel Action Plan, Sudan 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
8. (C) Now that the "Paris deal" is finished, the EU must 
arrange to renew its negotiations with Iran on the Trade and 
Cooperation agreement and will want to reopen its dialogues 
on human rights and terrorism.  Separately, the EU-3 are 
starting negotiations -- Werner thought as early as next week 
-- on a long-term nuclear agreement.  A GAERC subject for 
discussion may be the advisability of a change in the 
modalities of the talks with Iran:  some non-EU-3 member 
states are wondering how long the other 22 member states 
should continue to endorse EU-3 efforts without greater 
participation or transparency. 
 
9. (C) Along with discussion of the Ukraine action plan in 
the European Neighborhood Policy (see above), the GAERC will 
address a problem with the Israel action plan:  the Israelis 
want a "softer" clause on non-proliferation than the EU has 
had in its action plans already agreed with some Arab states 
(e.g., Tunisia, Morocco, Syria).  If foreign ministers do not 
agree to a softer clause, negotiations with Israel will have 
to continue and Israel may fall out of the "package" of 
action plans. 
 
10. (C) Sudan will come up for discussion, though Werner 
could not say to what end other than noting that the UN 
report on the situation is negative and that both sides seem 
to be violating ceasefire agreements. 
RUSSEL 

            
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