The Biggest Mistake EU Leaders Make (Op-ed Dacian Cioloř)

In 2014, former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker halted EU expansion policy. Junger is a political fact: no EU national leader at the time wanted to accept the political expense of expanding the EU. The impact of the merger of Central and Eastern European countries in 2004-2007 was huge in terms of public opinion and the activities of EU institutions in the old member states, the EU budget and priorities, and political sensitivity. It should be taken into account that in the European mosaic it was able to turn expansion into a forbidden political matter.

In my view, this was a mistake, and I saw what happened next in the Western Balkans and in the eastern neighbors, with the growing influence and demands of Russia, and the abandoned feeling felt by the pro-European powers. இந்த நாடுகள்.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brings up this issue. But even under these conditions, the expansion of the EU remains a divisive issue for European leaders. The conversation of the deaf between Eastern and Western Europe continues. Bureaucratic arguments, defensive positions, and institutional procrastination seem to cover up reluctance and political reluctance.

எனது நிலைப்பாடு தெளிவானது மற்றும் பல ஆண்டுகளாக இருந்து வருகிறது: தேர்தல் அல்லது பிற அரசியல் சந்தர்ப்பவாதத்தால் அல்லாமல் தொலைநோக்கு பார்வையுடன் செய்தால், ஐரோப்பிய ஒன்றியத்திற்கு விரிவாக்கம் அவசியமானது மற்றும் நன்மை பயக்கும். Waiting and making decisions is not the solution. The EU must urgently resume the process of expansion with a plan in line with today’s political and geo-strategic realities. To this end, political leadership recognizes the identity and ideological dimension of expansion and creates a mechanism for progressive dialogue and coordination that lends realism to this process. An algorithm that can start from the mechanism for expansion to the Western Balkans approved by the EU Council two years ago. The steps set out there can be modified so that the access negotiation process is beyond bureaucratic jurisdiction and provides definitive results to the citizens of the candidate countries before the negotiations are concluded and the access agreements signed.

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Icons and Responsive

At the end of the month, the Council of Europe will decide on applications for the annexation of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, based on the European Commission’s opinion. Unfortunately, alternative responses and comments, such as “immediate European perspective” in response to Moldova’s or Georgia’s membership application and “conditional candidate status” for Ukraine, are already being circulated. Such a decision by the Council of Europe would be a major political mistake.

It is unacceptable for Ukrainians to claim that they have “conditional” status if they stand with unimaginable courage and perseverance against Russian aggressors. However, the beginning of the access negotiations marks the beginning of a conditional path. There are a number of conditions that must be met to open negotiated chapters, and a number of other conditions must be met to close them. The pro-EU election and the desire to join the EU are about deeper political identity and values. Accepting or rejecting such a desire is a decision that is not easily accessible. இது ஒரு தொழில்நுட்ப முடிவாகவோ அல்லது அதிகாரத்துவ நடைமுறையாகவோ இருக்க முடியாது மற்றும் இருக்கக்கூடாது, ஏனெனில் இது ஏற்கனவே இந்த நாடுகளின் சோதனைக்கு உட்படுத்தப்பட்ட மன உறுதியின் மீது கடுமையான விளைவுகளை ஏற்படுத்தும்.

It is ethical and politically responsible to grant candidate status to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The European Union, and some member states in particular, take some responsibility for bringing Ukraine into this tragic situation. It is necessary to take this failure at the European level and think about what we can learn from it. There are no indications that Russia will invade Ukraine, but even after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, we have done nothing to prevent it and reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

When we look back at the situation in the Republic of Moldova, a lesson must be applied urgently: it lacks the capacity to defend itself and is vulnerable to potential Russian aggression. Moreover, the Republic of Moldova, led by a president and government, has sufficiently expressed its desire to implement both public policy and reforms and solidarity with Ukrainian refugees to strengthen democracy.

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For these reasons, the separation of the Republic of Moldova from Ukraine would be a strategic and geopolitical error. Candidate status must be granted to both countries, and access negotiations must officially begin by the end of this year. As for Georgia, the situation is more complicated because it is not performing well in terms of pro-European reforms and geographical reasons. But it is important for this country to have a clear European perspective, including a timeline for EU membership.

Towards accelerated integration

A clear decision on the status of candidate countries for the Republic of Ukraine and Moldova is essential because it has been simplified by the new expansion system adopted by the Council two years ago. This could be the starting point for a new way of dealing with negotiations and access, based on credibility, foresight, energy and a clear and strong political direction.

This new method also includes the possibility of gradual integration. If countries make sufficient progress on the reform priorities agreed upon in the negotiations, this will lead to:

நாட்டின் Close coordination of the country with the EU, measures for “gradual introduction” to various EU policies, access to relevant finance and opportunities. For example – general agricultural policy, integration policy, access to digital and environmental policies, participation in the domestic market (labor movement, capital …) and EU projects (such as the Erasmus, Horizon 2020 research program) on an equal footing.
Increased funding and investment – including close collaboration with international financial institutions to obtain performance-based and reform-based pre-access support tools and support.
பிரச்சினை As the issue of corruption and the functioning of the judiciary and the rule of law are acute, a mechanism can be developed to integrate reforms in these areas to access reforms in the Western Balkans and in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. European financial institutions for resources.

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From my discussions with many EU political leaders, EU leaders and the government, it is clear to me that many of them believe in the transition from a 27-member EU to a 37-member one. As long as we have a consensus mechanism on most European decisions, countries in the Western Balkans and eastern neighbors will block the decision-making process. That is why, as recommended at the latest conference on the future of Europe, the expansion process must join the process of reforming the EU’s operation.

We must not underestimate the dangerous consequences of provoking new access negotiations, without the possibility of an end and without a clear political will. A wake-up call for public developments in the Balkans.

One way to negotiate and coordinate with the EU with a step-by-step approach to the benefits (financial or otherwise) offered by EU members is to give the political leaders of the candidate countries more arguments for improving and implementing reforms. உண்மையில் அது தேவை.

The ball is now in the old member states: in the face of a historic challenge to show that EU expansion is no longer a forbidden thing, it is half-hearted. In the next period, the expansion principle must again become the primary policy of the EU and return to the foundation of European construction: ensuring peace on the continent, ending the wars of European countries, the ability to protect and improve local and national identity. – Common place for coexistence and evolution.

Signed by Dacian Ciolos, former European Commissioner for Agriculture and former Prime Minister of Romania. The comments made by the authors in the Op-ed section do not represent the position of the editorial staff.

Photo source: Ilona Andrei /

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