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Words in the News
Wednesday 09 October 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Flags of nations outside European Parliament
European Union enlargement
Summary: The European Commission, the executive part of the European Union, will declare today which candidate countries it feels are ready to join the EU. The commission will recommend that ten countries, mainly from formerly communist Eastern Europe should join. A final decision on their admission is due to be taken at the end of the year. This report from Tim Franks:
The News Listen  
  This is about nothing less than a complete redrawing of Europe's political map. It's an immense and ambitious project. Its supporters talk of the historic prize of reuniting Western and Eastern Europe. That's not to say though that the European Union is welcoming these ten candidate countries with open arms and wide smiles. The European Commission, in its report today, will publish a litany of continued failings in the applicants, from weak border controls to badly managed economies, to cultures of corruption. Negotiators from the candidate countries themselves say that's a bit tough. The process of change demanded by the EU has, for many of the countries, been extremely demanding. At least though, the overall assessment is that they are, with some further reform, ready to join in two years time. For Turkey, there's only disappointment. Despite recent constitutional changes and a long lobbying campaign, the European Commission says that this huge country, to the south-east of Europe, should not yet be given a start date for accession negotiations. One Turkish diplomat told the BBC that that was tantamount to the EU saying that it wanted to remain an exclusively Christian club.

Tim Franks, BBC

The Words Listen
  nothing less than
something which is so important that it can only be described as ..


  with open arms and wide smiles
(to welcome) warmly and sincerely

a long list – literally a long list of saints’ names chanted in Christian churches – here the meaning is metaphorical

  a bit tough
a little harsh and unfair

difficult to carry out

  a long lobbying campaign
long-lasting efforts by groups of people to persuade the government or in this case the European Commission that a particular thing should be done

  a start date
a time when something can begin

becoming a member of the EU

  tantamount to
almost the same as

  Read more about this story  

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