German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that not only the candidate countries should prepare to join the union, the union should also prepare to expand its circle, calling for reforms within the European bloc to facilitate the admission of new members.
In his statements to the German News Agency, he indicated that the reforms consist in modernizing the structure of the union and its decision-making processes, stressing the need to complete the unanimity condition to pass any decision within the bloc.
Schulz’s position echoed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s statement that the EU should be able to respond more quickly to geopolitical developments and end the unanimous vote on foreign policy decisions.
Similarly, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders noted that the possibility of 10 new members joining the bloc requires radical reforms to the bloc, and that many member states will not have the ability to work in the same situation, so it is necessary to change the rules of major decision-making within the European bloc.
More than a month ago, French President Emmanuel Macron adopted the view that the reform and unification of the European continent stems from the revision of the Union’s treaties, calling for the establishment of a European political group to specifically annex Ukraine in parallel with the mechanism of accession to the union, which may take decades.
Within the union, there were discussions about relaxing the principle of “unanimity” after the European Commission recommended that Ukraine be given the status of a candidate for membership in the Union, which puts the European bloc in a crisis to obtain consensus on reforming this provision in the first place.
Despite the war conditions in Ukraine, the union’s treaties and procedures regarding its annexation require a long period even if the 27 member states agree, especially since the process of annexing Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania, the last countries to join the union, took 10-12 years.
The files of annexing Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as Georgia and Moldova, remain pending until today.
Reason for repairs
Political analyst Mustafa Al-Tousa believes that the reforms proposed by Germany and France to modernize the mechanisms of the process of the European Union are related to abandoning the rule of “consensus” under which voting must be made to achieve any progress in the European system. witnessed by the world.
In his interview with Sky News Arabia, Tosa explained that the demand to change this rule is not a result of the moment, but because of the Ukrainian-Russian crisis and Ukraine’s continued urgency to enter the European bloc, the talk has returned to it again, especially since despite the optimistic statements issued by the leaders The countries of the Union There is no consensus within the European family to accept Ukraine into the system.
There are also countries among the countries that support voting to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate, which impose impossible conditions on Kyiv, which prolongs the period of its formal inclusion in the union, according to Toussa’s statements.
The inclusion of any countries in the European bloc requires the implementation of political and legal reforms to modernize government administration, fight corruption and protect freedoms and human rights, and it may take years for the approval of the European Parliament and the parliament of member states.
Despite the rejection of some EU countries, including the Netherlands and Denmark, the idea of Ukraine joining the bloc, Kyiv recently gained the support of German, French, Italian and Romanian following the recent visit of the leaders of the four countries to it, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky considered an effective support that brought his country closer to the union at any time since its independence. .
Therefore, Al-Tousa finds that the EU countries are now in a political situation that obliges them to send messages of reassurance to the Ukrainians and the Ukrainian government on the one hand, and firm messages on the other hand to Russia by defining a clear position against the current crisis, which is approaching its fifth month.
He points out that the current obstacles regarding the annexation of any country to the European entity must be resolved by changing its political rules, especially that the proposal of French President Macron regarding the establishment of a new European political system to annex Ukraine or any other country to avoid the principle of unanimous voting, was rejected by Zelensky and considered it inappropriate with the stakes of the stage. .
Tosa raises a question about the ability of the EU countries to implement these changes at the European summit in Brussels, especially since these rules prevent the EU from making historic decisions on the same level as the political and military challenges facing the European continent today.