Status: 06/24/2022 5:31 PM
After the decision to make Ukraine and Moldova two candidate countries, Chancellor Schulz called for rapid reforms in the European Union. Before the G7 summit, he also spoke about the food crisis.
Chancellor Olaf Schultz urges early reforms of the EU – also so as not to delay planned EU enlargement. “We should not delay this for too long,” the Social Democrat politician said after the EU summit in Brussels.
The fixes to make it easier to accept new members will take some time. However, his impression was that no one doubted the need for institutional reforms. Therefore, there is also an opportunity to agree on the necessary steps.
Seven official applicants for EU membership
The European Union on Thursday announced Ukraine and Moldova as candidate countries, bringing the number of official applicants for EU membership to seven. There are three other candidate countries to join.
Many decisions of the European Union, especially in the field of foreign and security policy, must be taken unanimously. This means that the more members there are, the more difficult it is to reach an agreement. This is why there has been debate for years about relaxing the principle of consensus. Schultz had also spoken in favor of this before the EU summit. Problem: This too must be decided unanimously.
Schulz said reforms are needed very soon if the EU is to be able to absorb other countries within a few years. All 27 member states agreed that the EU could not accept any other country in its current state.
It’s also about the size of the commission. “The quasi-government cannot continue to grow when the number of members increases,” Schultz said. There are currently as many members of the European Union Commission as there are in the European Union.
The second day of the EU summit in Brussels: Ukraine and Moldova are among the candidates now
Markus Preiß, ARD Brussels, daily news at 8:00 pm, June 24, 2022
Schulz calls for future prospects for the Western Balkans
Schulz reiterated that after Ukraine and Moldova, the six countries in the Western Balkans also deserve “fair rewards for their efforts.” “They are especially close to my heart,” Schultz said, referring to Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have been trying to get closer to the European Union for years.
Schulz has expressed reservations about the European political community raised by French President Emmanuel Macron. “What would be a forum of this kind that could be put to good use?” he asked. However, he believes it makes sense for the 27 EU heads of state and government to meet with other top European politicians for political discussions.
Doubts about technical causes of gas suffocation
In his press conference, Chancellor Schulz reiterated his doubts about Russian statements that the throttling of gas supplies was due to technical reasons. “No one in the European Union believes that Russia will reduce its gas supplies for technical reasons.”
However, Germany prepared for such a situation ahead of time, he said, referring to the establishment of liquid gas stations. The EU is on the right track towards better coordination of energy policy. He does not want to speculate how much delivery from alternative gas sources will be accelerated. But many EU countries are working hard on it. Importing from other countries is a big challenge, “but we’ll come to terms with that.”
Schulz on the hunger crisis: a ‘clear message’ from the G7 summit
Ahead of the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria, which began on Sunday, Schultz also blamed Russia for the escalating food crisis. “Russia bears the responsibility for this escalation, and Russia alone,” the chancellor said in a speech welcoming the international conference on food safety in Berlin.
Referring to the G7 summit, he added, “The summit will send a clear message to people around the world who are threatened by hunger. We will ensure that your life does not become a game for cynical power interests.”
The Group of Seven includes Germany, the United States of America, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan.