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According to Charles Michel, the EU could enlarge with the Western Balkans in 2030, but those involved are skeptical.

According to Charles Michel, the EU could enlarge with the Western Balkans in 2030, but those involved are skeptical.

Western Balkans Plans Council of Europe Views of EU enlargement Charles Michel 2030

2023-08-28 21:02:00

It is scheduled that the President of the European Council will take a decision on the start of accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova in the near future, but he will also put the applications of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia on the agenda.

The European Union and the Western Balkans must be ready to enlarge the union by 2030 – European Council President Charles Michel stressed in his opening speech at the Bled Strategy Forum on Monday, adding that not only future member states, but the EU also has to undergo reforms to make it stronger and safer. He added, “I know this is an ambitious plan, but it is necessary and shows that we are serious.”

According to Michel, the leaders of the EU member states will discuss enlargement in the upcoming meetings of the European Council. – We will take a position on starting accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, and I expect that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia will be on the agenda again. With regard to the reforms facing the countries of the Western Balkans, he highlighted the issue of the rule of law and human rights. He also suggested the inclusion of a “confidence clause” in the Treaty on the Accession of New Member States, which would prevent countries that have not yet joined the EU from blocking due to unresolved issues and importing their bilateral conflicts into the EU upon accession.

Meanwhile, in the panel discussion that followed the inauguration, the leaders of the Western Balkans considered the situation controversial. According to the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dritan Abazovic, the year 2030 is still very far away, and while the countries of the region know exactly what they want, the leaders of the European Union do not always know this. – Said Borgana Cristo, Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who expects accession negotiations to begin as soon as possible: – The EU should be more clear and decisive.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić expressed doubts about the different assessment of target dates and countries awaiting accession, while Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti remained concerned that many EU member states had not yet recognized his country. How fast is Ukraine’s application for membership after it was attacked by Russia? Who and what should be attacked in the Balkans in order to accelerate the expansion process? – noted Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, in contrast to North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski, who took Charles Michel’s words precisely as encouragement.

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