Brief history and details of EU expansion
Details of the history of the European Union can be viewed on their website at: europa.eu.int/abc/history/index_en.htm The Europe of today is very different from that of the late 1940s. Originally the aim of the EU was to promote peace throughout Europe and although this is still a key objective, being a member of the EU promotes active trade between the Member States. The recent introduction of the Euro as a common currency across a number of countries also adds unity.
Currently there are 15 countries in the EU. This is set to grow to 27 by 2004 which is the date set for the current applicant countries to complete accession. These additional countries are Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Lativa, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Malta.
There is a high percentage of forest area in a number of these new Member States and we anticipate that the role of forestry will take a higher profile throughout the EU following accession.
Details of the latest stage of negotiations are available on the Europa website: europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement/index.htm
EU Forestry Strategy
On 15 December 1998 the EU and Member States agreed a Council Resolution on a forestry strategy for the European Union. Unlike EC Regulations and Directives, a Resolution is not binding. The EU Forestry Strategy is not a formal policy like the Common Agricultural Policy. It is more a statement setting out the common objectives of Member States and EU, and setting out the framework for any shared action.
The Resolution can be accessed on the EU Official Journal website: europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/search/search_oj.html by typing in the following information:
Date: 26/02/1999, OJ Series: C, Number: 56, Page: 1