Bolkestein verwacht groei EU naar 40 lidstaten (en)

An EU of 40 is inevitable unless stopped by a referendum, according to outgoing Commissioner Frits Bolkestein, who is strongly opposed Turkey's membership of the Union.

Mr Bolkestein expressed his reservations about EU enlargement in an interview with French daily Le Monde.

After the accession of Turkey, the EU could expand to take in Belarus, Ukraine and the Balkans.

"Unless there is a `no' in a referendum, the march towards an EU of 40 is inevitable", believes the Dutch Commissioner.

"We have lost the ability to say `no'", he continues. "Foreign ministers just think of how to be nice".

Mr Bolkestein - whose term ends in three weeks - also believes that both EU leaders and Commissioners are secretly against Turkey.

"If there had been a secret vote, the majority of the Council and the Commission would vote no", he declared. "What are we scared of? The main problem is that we lack confidence in ourselves".

He is also concerned about the stability of the Union given these enlargements. "Of course, in an enlarging Europe, you export stability. That's fantastic. But you also import instability".

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