European Commission Vice-President: EU expansion “is feasible, realistic and will happen”

Barcelona, Sept 14 (EFE).- The Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, said Thursday that the expansion of the EU “is feasible, realistic and will happen” and set the horizon for the incorporation of new countries for 2030.

Schinas participated in Barcelona in a talk on “European transitions, political challenges,” where he said that the EU is not going to open the door to semi-democracies and that any country that wants to join must meet democratic standards before being considered.

“Europe continues to inspire many countries to join the family,” said the Vice President.

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine are official candidates for EU membership.

On accepting Andorra, Monaco, and San Marino to the EU, she pointed out this is an “autonomous negotiation.” Still, she warned them that if they want to “move” towards the EU, they cannot maintain some of their fiscal policies.

Concerning the migratory challenge facing the EU, she advocated “federalizing” the external border management to relieve Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Italy, and Greece of tasks through the Frontex corps.

She also warned that the EU will not be able to manage migration if it does not reach agreements with the countries surrounding it.

What has happened in the last four years, between the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, shows, for Schinas, that the EU must end its era of “naivety” and start looking for “independence, autonomy, and assertiveness.”

This change, she clarified, does not imply that Europe “is aggressive” but that it is “capable of adapting to change” and of knowing who its allies are.

“No more blank checks. We cannot be the world’s largest donors of development aid and have Africa voting against us at the United Nations,” she added.

For Schinas, February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, was not just “aggression” but “a direct affront to what Europe stands for” and its model of society. EFE


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