N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, urged ‘enlargement’ of the European Union before 2030. He is looking at the countries that already have candidate-status : Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Ukraine, Moldova and Turkey. Each and every one of them will be unable to contribute net to the EU and are not even remotely ready to join the bloc. Mentioning Turkey is a sour joke, the EU and this country are already negotiating for 33 years.
Suddenly putting forward a date for the accession of new members is downright dangerous. Michel is giving a signal that these countries will be able to join anyway, while it is not possible at all to do that. This will lead to disillusionment and show that the EU is un unreliable partner. The costs of Michel’s idea will be enormous. These countries need financially support for decades. Whilst institutional reforms of the union would be necessary.
Not surprising that a day after Michel told ‘fairy tales’, the European Commission pushed back. The President of the European Council had not even consulted the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The top two EU institutions clashed again. This latest public disagreement between Von der Leyen and Michel, dubbed ‘EU’s odd couple’ for their difficult relationship, is just another disgrace for the self-declared global power EU.