The European Commission today proposed a fair and solid approach for financing the enlargement of the European Union until 2006, which fully respects the expenditure ceilings imposed by the budgetary rules while offering the benefits of EU solidarity to ten possible new Member States. For the Commission, this offer is not to be seen as a starting point leaving a wide room for bargaining : this represents what can realistically be achieved given the current, well-known constraints and possibilities. The "information note" adopted today will allow the Council of Ministers to hold an overall discussion on the financial issues of enlargement and will serve as the basis for the Commission`s detailed negotiation positions on agriculture, structural policies and budget.