Against the backdrop of Russia’s growing threat to peace and stability in Europe, an enhanced policy of enlargement is the most powerful geopolitical tool at the disposal of the European Union, according to the recommendation of the European Parliament.
“In order to be a more credible and efficient global player, the EU must change its decision-making procedures for accession of new members, removing the need for unanimity and replacing it with a qualified majority. MEPs also call on Member States to fulfill EU commitments to the countries of the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership and ensure that candidate countries are not offered an alternative to full EU membership. MEPs are demanding that democratic reforms and the rule of law be at the forefront of the enlargement process.
The recommendation adopted by MEPs on a new enlargement strategy calls on the EU to make EU funding and its tangible results more visible in enlargement countries. They also want the EU to work to prevent third parties from interfering in the political, electoral and other democratic processes in these countries. Any stagnation or setback in the EU-related reform process needs to be sanctioned in real time, but the EU should also reward candidate countries when they make sustained progress, including through their gradual entry into the EU single market.” , the statement says.
The recommendation was supported by 502 MPs, against – 75, 61 MEPs abstained.