The European Parliament backed the Recommendation on speeding up the decision-making on EU accession of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, and urges all three countries for progress in the reforms process.
In light of the growing Russian threat to European peace and stability, an enhanced enlargement policy remains the strongest geopolitical tool at the EU’s disposal, MEPs argue in a recommendation adopted in plenary on Wednesday.
“To be a more credible and efficient global player, the EU should reform its decision-making procedures for the accession of new members and scrap the need for unanimity, replacing it with qualified majority. MEPs also call on member states to deliver on the EU’s commitments towards the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries and ensure no alternatives are offered to candidate countries in place of full EU membership,” reads the document.
MEPs demand that democratic reform and the rule of law be put at the forefront of the enlargement process, alongside improved monitoring, reporting, assessment and conditionality.
“The Recommendation on the New EU Strategy for Enlargement adopted by MEPs urges the EU to make EU funding and its tangible results more visible in enlargement countries. They also want the EU to work on preventing third-party interference in the political, electoral, and other democratic processes of these countries.
At the same time as ensuring that any stagnation or backtracking in the EU-related reform process is sanctioned in real time, the EU should also reward candidate countries when they make sustainable progress, including by phasing them into the EU single market. They demand clear deadlines for concluding negotiations with the accession countries and insist they should finish by the end of the current decade at the latest,” reads the statement.
The Recommendation has been adopted by 502 votes in favour, 75 against and 61 abstentions.