German president stresses need for E.U. enlargement
Mon Nov 11 2002 13:33:10 ET
Madrid (dpa) - German President Johannes Rau Monday praised the enlargement of the European Union into eastern Europe as a ;historical duty and a necessity of solidarity''.
The process of European unification was in a ;decisive phase'', with enlargement and consolidation going together, Rau said in a speech at the royal palace in Madrid at the start of a three-day state visit to Spain.
Spain fears enlargement could slash some of the regional funds it receives from the E.U., but Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer indicated there was no need to worry.
Germany believed the E.U. needed an ;active policy'' for the strategically important Mediterranean region, Fischer said at a press conference in Madrid earlier in the day.