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2004-12-09 12:03:00
Embassy The Hague
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 003219 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/08/2014

REF: A. STATE 258831


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


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

-- 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.)



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



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.