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23/06/2006 01:11 Local Time 
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Preparations for the Thessaloniki European Council: Statements by the President of the European Council, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and European Commission President Romano Prodi, Brussels, 11/6/03

The President of the European Council, Prime Minister Costas Simitis, met in Brussels on Wednesday (11/6) with EU High Representative for CFSP Javier Solana, European Parliament President Pat Cox and European Commission President Romano Prodi within the framework of the interinstitutional dialogue. He also had a private meeting with Prodi. The meetings were part of preparations for the Thessaloniki European Council later this month.

In statements to journalists, Simitis said the European Council would decide the procedure and timeframe for the Intergovernmental Conference “which must not begin the discussion anew from zero” – as a follow-up to the discussion which the European Council will have on the draft European Constitution.

Replying to questions, Prodi noted that European leaders must send the message to the Western Balkan that “we want the countries of this region to be members of the EU one day”, while Simitis added that “we must all work together for the fulfilment of the relevant preconditions”.

Replying to a question on the EU’s economic development, Prodi stressed the need for “recovery – in the direction of research and transeuropean networks in order to stabilise development in Europe”.

When asked a question concerning Turkey’s European perspective, Prodi replied that “the Copenhagen criteria cannot be applied selectively” and therefore, “the Turkish government should make every possible effort to make the implementation of the Copenhagen criteria part of the everyday life of Turkish citizens”.

Lastly, again replying to questions, Simitis noted that “there is no longer any need to tell each candidate country that it has taken a significant step forward. There is a timeframe and we are implementing it.”


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