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EU enlargement: France and Germany try to lead the debate

It’s an important deadline: meeting in Brussels at the end of December, the heads of state and government of the twenty-seven must decide whether to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova. At the same time, they will have to make a gesture to the countries of the Western Balkans, who have been waiting for years in the EU’s front chamber, looking unkindly at Kiev and Chisinau as they pass.

Today, twenty-seven agree to move forward on the enlargement path because the geopolitical context, Ukraine’s war on the EU’s borders, makes it inevitable. But to the question of how to implement this project, which will radically change the economic, social and political aspects of the Union, the answers vary greatly from one capital to another.

In this context, France and Germany asked twelve independent political scientists to work on this topic. On Tuesday 19 September, the two rapporteurs, Olivier Costa and Daniela Schwarzer, were to present their findings to European Affairs Ministers in a report intended to explain to the twenty-seven how. “Sailing on the High Seas”. In this regard, the Secretary of State for Europe Laurence Bunn and his German counterpart Anna L├╝hrmann had to remind that their work does not concern Paris and Berlin.

differences

“The EU is not ready to receive new members, neither institutionally nor politically”writing “Group of Twelve”As the experts called themselves. The report therefore recommends a reform of the Union that precedes enlargement, or will accompany it, in this sense, which is defended by Paris and Berlin. “The risk would be to repeat what we have already done, that is, to think about expansion without integration. I can easily testify that Europe of 27 is finding it difficult to make progress on substantive issues. 32 or 35-year-old Europe will not be easy to remain modest., Emmanuel Macron explained to the French ambassadors on August 28.

Not everyone in the EU shares this view. Moreover, another report on enlargement, written by Baltic, Polish, Nordic and Croatian political scientists and presented to European affairs ministers at a dinner hosted by Lithuania on Monday evening, September 18, recommends the arrival of new member states. by carrying out institutional reforms. These countries, traditionally more favorable to an enlarged Europe than Paris and Berlin, fear that the Franco-German dialectic will become an excuse to bury enlargement once again.

Source: Le Monde

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