Austria’s foreign minister said Brussels would likely alienate Western Balkan countries if it gave preference to Kiev’s offer
The EU should not put Ukraine’s bid to join the ‘plan’fast lineAustrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said that while he was delaying requests from the Western Balkans.
He also called for a comprehensive overhaul of the entire EU’s enlargement procedures, warning that Kyiv may never be accepted into the bloc without such an overhaul.
Earlier this month, the European Commission recommended starting formal accession negotiations with Ukraine, while saying that Bosnia and Herzegovina had not yet reached an accession agreement.The necessary degree of compliance with membership standards.”
In an interview with the Financial Times on Thursday, Schallenberg said he would “Geostrategic disaster“If Brussels looks at the Western Balkans”With a magnifying glass and rose-colored glasses to Ukraine.”
“You can’t have certain groups on the fast lane, others on the service lane,The diplomat insisted, noting that:Equal“Signals must be sent.”In both directions for geostrategic reasons.Failure to do so could push long-time hopefuls into falling directly into the hands of actors like China and Russia, Schallenberg warned.
The Austrian minister noted that many Western Balkan countries have been waiting for the start of the accession process for 20 years.
He went on to claim that the algorithm used by the EU in previous stages of enlargement should be replaced by a gradual algorithm, whereby candidate countries are gradually integrated into sectoral programs and policies before being granted full membership.
“Under the old approach”And maybe Ukraine will never be part of it… to some extent,Schallenberg predicted.
In September, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer also spoke out against accelerating Ukraine’s possible accession.
Meanwhile, Reuters, citing an unnamed European official, reported last week that discussions on Kiev’s accession prospects, originally scheduled for December 14-15, may now be postponed until March 2024 instead.
Around the same time, EUObserver media, citing an unnamed employee, claimed that there were signs that several member states, including Austria and France, might be reluctant to give the green light to accession talks with Kiev.
Earlier this month, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban suggested that “Ukraine is not at all ready to negotiate its bid to join the European Union.”
Unanimous support from all 27 Member States is needed to begin negotiations.