President of the European Council Charles Michel, speaking at the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia on 28 August, has suggested that the EU should set a “clear goal” to “enlarge by 2030”.
“I believe we must be ready — on both sides — to enlarge by 2030. This means that the EU’s next long-term budget will need to include our common goals. This is ambitious, but necessary. It shows that we are serious,” said Charles Michel.
According to President Michel, this will give a transformative boost to reforms and will generate interest, investments and better understanding between the EU and future member states.
“The window of opportunity is open. We need to act on it. That is why EU leaders will discuss enlargement at our next European Council meetings. We will take a stand on the opening of negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova. And I also expect Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia to be back on the table,” said Michel.
However, the EU Council President said that enlargement is and will remain a merit-based process: “This means making sure the judiciary plays an independent role. And fighting corruption and organised crime. It also means being ready economically — in particular by adopting the EU acquis. And standing with us in foreign policy — more important today than ever”.
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