The accession of the countries of the Western Balkans is possible only after the internal reforms of the EU

“As long as the existing rules on the functioning of the European Union apply, we cannot have a Europe of 31, 32 or 33 members. That is not possible. “Otherwise, we would be lying to ourselves,” Macron said
(illustration, French President in the European Parliament on Wednesday)

EU enlargement to the Western Balkans will not be possible until the rules of functioning within the European Union are changed – is the message of French President Emanuel Macron, who presented the program of his country’s six-month presidency at the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday.

He assessed that the countries of the Western Balkans should be given a realistic and clear perspective of joining the EU.

“We have modernized the procedure for EU accession negotiations. However, we know very well that while the existing rules on the functioning of the European Union are in force – we cannot have a Europe of 31, 32 or 33 members. That is not possible. “Otherwise, we would be lying to ourselves,” Macron said.

“We need to be politically honest” with the Western Balkans, Macron said

What are the rules for EU accession?

“Therefore, we need to redefine the rules of functioning of the European Union and its geography,” the French president added. He said that for these reasons, after the conference on the future of Europe, a conference on the Western Balkans should be held in May.

He announced that the rules would be reviewed at that conference, which should become clearer “so that decisions can be made faster and more efficiently”.

He added that he was in favor of “the accession of the Western Balkan countries to the EU, based on projects whose realization is planned within a reasonable time.”

“We should be politically honest when we talk about the European framework in which the countries of the Western Balkans have their place,” Macron emphasized.

Europe can no longer turn its head away from the Western Balkans, which, both in terms of its geographical position and its history, is “in the heart of the European continent.”

“The Western Balkans bear traces of injuries that remind us of the fragility of peace and the strength of our Union. That is why today we need to re-examine relations with the Western Balkans in order to give it a clearer real perspective of accession (to the EU). “

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Strasbourg, 19.01.2022 – French President Emanuel Macron speaks in the European Parliament (Source: FoNet/AP)

What kind of European security?

In the program of the French presidency, the most important place is occupied by the plan for acquiring digital sovereignty of the EU and the fight against climate change for carbon neutrality, as well as defining the “strategic orientation” for European security.

During the parliamentary debate, harsh criticism was heard because the French president is in favor of classifying nuclear energy as environmentally friendly, despite the fact that the issue of disposing of radioactive waste produced by nuclear power plants has not been resolved.

When it comes to European security, Macron emphasized that the security strategy will be coordinated between France and Germany. He specified that the “new security order” will be approved by NATO and will be presented to Russia.

He pointed out that he advocates dialogue with Russia.

During the parliamentary debate, the French president was criticized with unusual sharpness mainly by French MEPs, which is a consequence of the fact that Macron is at the same time campaigning for the presidential elections in his country and in the position of presiding over the European Union.

The French elections will be held in April, and the French presidency of the Union will end in June.


Source: Balkan Magazin – Aktuelnosti by www.balkanmagazin.net.

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