Czech PM pushes for EU to include Ukraine and Balkans

Petr Fiala
Petr Fiala

European Union should expand to include countries from the Western Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine in the coming years, said Czech Prime Minister, Petr Fiala, the Czech news website reported on April 30.

"Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia, North Macedonia and Kosovo should also have a chance to join the EU like Moldova and Ukraine," he said.

"Let's give them this chance and take advantage of the opportunities it will bring," Fiala said.

"Any other option is worse for both them and us."

"Ukraine's accession to the European Union is crucial for its security," he said.

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"Ukraine fights for its place in our civilization, for freedom, and its struggle determines our future security," the Prime Minister said.

President Petr Pavel also advocated for the expansion of the European Union.

"The EU cannot function in the same way with 12 or 35 members," he said.

"The modernization of the EU is a necessary step."

Ukraine’s accession to the European Union

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed hope to start negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU in the first half of this year on March 13.

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The European Commission unveiled the negotiation framework for Ukraine and Moldova's accession to the EU, outlining guidelines and procedures, on March 12.

Now, the EU Council initiates internal discussions and approval of drafts. Subsequently, the Council presidency state will present the agreed EU position at the first intergovernmental conference with each country, formally beginning accession negotiations.

The European Commission recommended starting negotiations on Ukraine and Moldova’s accession to the EU on Nov. 8.

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The European Council supported the start of negotiations on Ukraine’s membership in the EU by 26 votes on Dec. 14. During the voting process, Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, walked out of the room.

Zelenskyy has repeatedly stated that fulfilling the EU’s conditions for starting negotiations is Ukraine’s priority.

At the same time, European Council President Charles Michel said that Ukraine could join the European Union in 2030.

Ukraine is prepared to initiate negotiations for EU accession, anticipating their commencement by the end of June, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the European Union, Katarína Mathernová, said on April 26.

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