Dand according to a statement on the conclusions of the European Council meeting, released early this evening, the leaders recalled Grenada’s declaration to “underline that enlargement is a geostrategic investment for peace, security, stability and prosperity”.
“It is an engine to improve the socio-economic conditions of European citizens, reduce disparities between countries, and must promote the values on which the Union was founded”, added the 27, who conclude that current Member States and candidates “must be prepared” for enlargement.
“The work must be done in parallel”, advocated European leaders in the conclusions, including Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa.
And they recognized that it is necessary to reform European structures to accommodate more Member States, to “establish the long-term ambitions of the Union and the ways to achieve them, addressing all the key issues related to European priorities and policies”.
“This will make a stronger EU and improve European sovereignty”, they maintained.
After the announcement at the end of the afternoon by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in the declaration the leaders reinforce that they gave the ‘green light’ to start formal negotiations, adopting the recommendation made in November by the European Commission.
In the same vein and accepting the recommendations made by Ursula von der Leyen’s executive, the 27 EU leaders decided to grant Georgia the status of a candidate country.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is not yet ready to begin accession negotiations, but the Council acknowledged that this will happen “as soon as the necessary degree of criteria is met”.
One day after the EU-Western Balkans summit, the 27 agreed that it is necessary to accelerate the accession process for the countries of this region, which is dragging on.
To this end, the leaders supported the plan to “accelerate the socio-economic growth” of those countries and convergence with the European Union, “based on strict conditionalities”, and “encouraged the region to increase the pace of EU-related reforms to advance the economic regional integration through the Common Regional Market, based on EU rules and standards”.
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