UK: no link between Benes decrees and EU enlargement

02-03-2002

Britain has rejected opening the issue of the post-war Benes decrees in connection with the expansion of the European Union. Germany, Austria and Hungary have been calling for the abolition of the Benes decrees which sanctioned the expulsion of ethnic Germans and Hungarians from Czechoslovakia after World War II and allowed for confiscation of their property. Certain groups in Germany and Austria have been trying to make the Czech Republic's accession to the EU conditional on revocation of the decrees. British ambassador to the Slovakia, Roderic Todd, said on Saturday that Britain saw no reason for the Benes decrees to play a role in European enlargement.