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EU agriculture commissioner Franz Fischler jeered

Attending a joint meeting of the Polish parliament's agriculture committees, EU agriculture commissioner Franz Fischler was jeered and whistled at on September 12. MPs from the governing coalition Polish Peasants Party and the anti-EU League of Polish Families used whistles as Fischler was rounding off his address to the committees' members.

Fischler had hoped to convince Poles to take a "realistic" view towards farming issues in their accession talks with the EU. Fischler described a position of raising false expectations as a mistake, as he said the room for manoeuvre in the negotiations is limited. Poland is concerned that the proposed EU budget and aid proposals could make the country a net contributor in its first year of membership.

The EU wants all issues among the aspiring member states to be resolved before the summit in Denmark in December when it is expected that Poland and up to nine other countries could be invited to join the 15-member EU, with entry expected in 2004.

(NewsBase 16.ix.02)

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