EU members engage in heated debates over candidacy status to Ukraine and Moldova: report
In the latest development, members of the European Union (EU) are embroiled in heated discussions after granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, Germany Die Welt reported. It comes as Western Balkan states express their dissatisfaction with the procedure for granting candidate status to the two countries. According to reports, a significant development in the accession negotiations was expected from the June 24 summit between the 27 EU leaders and the six heads of state of the Western Balkans. The long-awaited accession procedures of North Macedonia and Albania, which have been on the EU’s waiting list for 17 and 8 years respectively, were among the issues discussed.
However, these negotiations could not succeed as Bulgaria opposed the admission of North Macedonia citing their protracted disagreements over the language, history and rights of the Bulgarian minority in Skopje. With the accession process requiring unanimous approval, Bulgaria essentially exercised a right of veto, which halted negotiations with Albania, which is next in line after North Macedonia. Meanwhile, the EU summit was denounced as a “terrifying display of incompetence” by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.
Austria and Slovenia support Bosnia and Herzegovina for candidate status
Furthermore, the Albanian Prime Minister also expressed his anguish, stating that “even a war in Europe, which could become a global catastrophe, has not been able to achieve their unity.” Die Welt reported. Meanwhile, Austria and Slovenia have tried to persuade other EU members that Bosnia and Herzegovina, a Western Balkan state whose membership has been promised since 2003, should also be granted candidate status. “We need the same rules for everyone. We must not apply double standards in the accession process. It is a question of fairness and a question of credibility”, remarked Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer .
Russia condemns EU decision to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova
Meanwhile, Russia criticized the EU for its decision to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, and also warned of “negative consequences”. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the move as an attempt to encroach on Russia’s sphere of influence within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which is made up of former states of the Soviet Union. However, it should be noted here that it could be several years before Ukraine and Moldova are full members of the bloc.
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