The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is set to launch a campaign to
promote the case for European Union enlargement.
Rashmi Choudhury has joined the FCO's public diplomacy and policy unit
as media desk officer to drive through the 12-month campaign.
Choudhury takes over from David Whineray, who has joined the FCO news
desk. The post Choudhury takes has been altered to include more media
relations work as well as continuing liaison with the countries aiming
to join the EU.
According to Choudhury, the aim of the campaign is to increase awareness
within the UK of not only the enlargement process but also each country
applying for membership.
In the running to join the EU are 13 countries, including Poland, the
Czech Republic, Turkey and Cyprus.
'We want people to understand how the entry of these countries will
affect them personally and also affect people in those countries.
Business opportunities are an important part of that,' said
Key media targets for the campaign are the national and regional
Countries vying for entry should know whether they have been accepted by
the end of 2002, when negotiations for entry are due to finish.
If accepted they should be awarded full membership in the summer of
2004, when they take part in the European Parliamentary elections.
At the European Council's summit in June, members declared the process
of enlargement as 'irreversible'.
Also bidding for membership are Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta.
During a visit to Warsaw in 1998, Tony Blair was the first EU leader to
call for new member states to participate in the 2004 European