European Western Balkans

Várhelyi: If the Council wants to make enlargement happen, that is welcome news

Olivér Várhelyi, European Enlargement Commissioner; Photo: European Union

TOLEDO – European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi reacted today to the proposal by President of the European Council Charles Michel that the EU and the candidate countries should be ready for enlargement by 2030.

“What I think is that if this is a message from the Council that the Council wants to finally engage and make a big leap to make enlargement happen, this is welcome news”, Várhelyi said to journalists in Toledo, where he is participating in the informal meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich).

He added that the Commission has always been ready to make any proposal that would lead to there.

“I don’t think that it is a question of dates. I think it is more of a question of will, and also the question of delivery; delivery on the side of the EU but also delivery on the side of our partner countries in the Western Balkans or the other three candidate countries”, the Commissioner said.

Várhelyi reminded that the Commission is ready to make any proposal to get there, which will be seen already in October when it will want to put substantive proposals including the Growth Plan, which President Ursula von der Leyen has already explained in Bratislava.

“It will accelerate not only the institutional but also the real integration. The real integration of the people and the economies into the European Union”, Várhelyi said.

Asked what would he need to see from the Council side for that 2030 date to become reality, the Commissioner said that the Council should “press ahead with all the proposals that we’re making and make each and every single decision that we can make: no matter how small, no matter how big”.

“So, for example, taking decisions on the IGCs, taking decisions on the financing, taking decisions on the real integration into the European Union already before accession”, he concluded.

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