EU leaders discuss EU enlargement – Sanna Marin: “The EU must be transparent and credible”


The enlargement of the Union will be the main theme of the EU summit that begins today.

The European Commission recommended last Friday that Ukraine and Moldova be granted official EU candidate status. Finland supports the Commission’s assessment.

“At the moment, it would seem very clear that these countries can be granted candidate status. I have the impression that we would be united on this. I really hope and look forward to moving forward, ”said the Prime Minister Sanna Marin (sd) stated on arrival at the summit.

The last time the European Union was enlarged was in 2013, when Croatia became a member.

The granting of candidate status would only be a starting point for the accession process of Ukraine and Moldova. They should meet EU criteria. The process would take years.

Bulgaria’s action “unsustainable”

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi signed the country’s application for EU membership at the end of February, just days after Russia had launched its offensive war in Ukraine. Georgia and Moldova also soon applied for membership.

EU member states have so far reiterated that Ukraine “belongs to the European family”. The EU has also provided financial, armed and political support to Ukraine, but the country has not yet been granted official EU candidate status.

The current EU candidate countries are Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Albania and northern Macedonia. Turkey’s membership negotiations have been virtually frozen for a long time.

Northern Macedonia has been waiting in the EU port for 16 years, Montenegro for 12 years and Serbia for ten.

Northern Macedonia was first on the path to EU membership, now Bulgaria. This includes the name of the country and the official language. The EU has linked the accession processes of northern Macedonia and Albania, so Albania is also suffering from Bulgaria’s actions.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that the EU must be transparent and credible in its enlargement policy. In his view, Bulgaria’s braking tactics are not an honor for the EU.

“Albania and northern Macedonia have carried out systematic reforms. It is completely unsustainable that Bulgaria has blocked the prospect of membership for these countries. We support the need to start accession negotiations with these countries. “

The French initiative is also on the agenda

Macro-financial assistance to Ukraine, the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe and the Wider Europe initiative launched by France will also be on the agenda for the summit.

The President of France Emmanuel Macron wants the EU to deepen its partnerships with the candidate countries and the United Kingdom. It would be like a new club alongside the EU. Macron has stressed that Wider Europe would not slow down or overlap with EU enlargement.

In the aftermath of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the European Parliament has called on the European Council to begin the process of amending the EU Treaties.

Finland is not in favor of opening up the EU treaties. In Finland’s view, for example, qualified majority voting could be increased within the framework of existing agreements.

Meeting after the meeting

A meeting of EU and Western Balkan leaders was held in Brussels this morning. Some countries in the Western Balkans had previously threatened to boycott the meeting.

However, all countries eventually attended the meeting.

There will also be a euro summit tomorrow, where euro leaders will discuss the current economic situation and the progress of the banking and capital market union.

Assembled. The Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson and the Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin discussed the meeting between the Nordic and Baltic countries before the summit.Picture: EU Council

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