EC on enlargement: We are not focused on dates, but on reforms

NEWS 29.08.202317:22 0 komentara

The EU enlargement process is based on meeting the membership criteria, so the European Commission is not focused on a date, but on supporting the candidate countries in the implementation of reforms, European Commission Deputy Chief Spokesperson Dana Spinant said on Tuesday.

We have always said that enlargement is a merit-based process, which means that the candidate countries should join the EU when they are ready for it, Spinant said in response to a journalist’s request to comment on a statement by European Council President Charles Michel.

On Monday, at the Bled Strategic Forum, Michel mentioned the year 2030 as a date when further expansion of the European Union could occur.

“To be credible, I believe we must talk about timing and homework,” he pointed out then.

“I believe we must be ready — on both sides — by 2030 to enlarge,” Michel said, adding that “this is ambitious, but necessary.”

The European Commission, on the other hand, says it does not aim for specific dates.

“We are not focused on a date, but focused on working very closely with candidate countries to get ready for joining the European Union,” said Dana Spinant.

Asked whether she believed that the European Union could carry out the necessary internal reforms in order to be able to accept new members, Spinant said that it was not up to her to answer such questions and that the leaders of the EU member states would deal with it at their informal meeting in Granada, Spain.

In October, the European Commission will publish its regular enlargement package with progress reports on candidate countries. These reports will represent the basis for the discussion and decisions on future steps in the enlargement process expected at the summit in December.

Certain candidates have high expectations from the December summit, primarily Ukraine, which hopes for a decision on the opening of accession negotiations, but also Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has the same expectations.

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