Index – Abroad – France will send a clear message to candidates for European Union membership
The French Minister for European Affairs urges the need to send a clear message to candidate members about the prospects for accession. According to Lawrence Boone, in this way countries can be supported in opposing the Russian president.
The European Union is preparing for a possible wave of enlargement. In the coming years, it may add up to eight new members, including Ukraine and six Balkan countries.
Oliver Varhelyi, the EU commissioner responsible for enlargement, said enlargement could be implemented until 2030, but only if candidate countries and the EU itself redouble their efforts. During his visit to Tirana in June, the Hungarian Prime Minister described how slowly the EU enlargement process was progressing as unacceptable and shameful. Viktor Orban noted that it took Albania 13 years before it could even begin accession negotiations with the European Union.
The Kremlin also targeted several nominated members. The aim is to weaken EU sponsorship with the aim of alienating those intending to join from the Union. Therefore, the European Union must work to formulate the terms of accession in a “clear and balanced” manner. Quoted Boone from Politico.
In addition to his regional ambitions, Vladimir Putin seeks to weaken the European Union. We cannot ignore this factor and must combat it
– The French minister said, then added that the European Union must help the candidates “to fight as hard as possible while respecting their sovereignty” against the Russian influence strategy.
Boone announced his opinion days before Ursula von der Leyen’s annual evaluation. The President of the European Commission is expected to submit a detailed report on the pace and method of the planned expansion of the European Union.
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, also cited the 2030 deadline as a target for enlargement, but the Commission rejected his proposal on the grounds that accession was based on “merits.”
Candidates and new EU members alike warn that leaving those waiting to join to sit in the EU’s “waiting room” without a clear path to accession would generate division and amplify the spread of Russian influence.
A senior EU diplomat, who requested anonymity, noted that since pro-European protests in Kiev in 2014, which ended in bloodshed, Putin considers Ukraine’s membership status a “red post” and has been trying to thwart Moldova’s accession to the EU. All costs.
The diplomat believes that any excessive delay or second-class status on the path to full EU accession would embolden the Russian president. He also criticized the “multi-speed” accession proposal put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron, which stipulates that countries receive partial benefits before gaining full membership.
Regarding the criticism, Bonn said: Macron wants to give the candidate countries an opportunity to define their relationship with the European Union. For example, the Minister stated that some member states have not joined the Eurozone, while others have not joined the Schengen Area.
According to the French Minister of European Affairs, it is crucial that nominated members receive a convincing message about their rightful place in the European Union. “We have to focus on the end result,” Boone insisted.
(Cover photo: Lawrence Boone on September 20, 2022. Photo: Thierry Monaci/Getty Images)