Chancellor Scholz: “Don’t postpone EU reforms”

Status: 06/24/2022 17:31

Following the decision to make Ukraine and Moldova a candidate country, Chancellor Scholz called for swift EU reforms. Before the G7 summit, he also addressed the food crisis.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz is pushing for early EU reforms – also so as not to delay the planned enlargement of the European Union. “We should not postpone it for too long,” the SPD politician said after the EU summit in Brussels.

Reforms to facilitate the admission of new members would take some time. However, his impression is that no one doubts the need for institutional reforms. So there is also a chance that the necessary steps will be agreed.

Seven formal applicants for EU membership

The EU declared Ukraine and Moldova candidate countries on Thursday, bringing the number of formal applicants for EU membership to seven. The other three countries are potential candidates for accession.

Many EU decisions, especially in the area of ​​foreign and security policy, must be taken unanimously. This means that the more members there are, the more difficult it is to negotiate. That is why the principle of unanimity has been softened for years. Scholz also spoke in favor of this before the EU summit. Problem: Even that would have to be decided unanimously.

Scholz said reforms were needed soon if the EU was to be able to absorb more countries in a few years. All 27 Member States agreed that the EU could not accept any more countries as it currently stands.

It is also about the size of the commission. “It cannot happen that quasi-government is constantly growing as the number of members increases,” Scholz said. There are currently as many members of the European Commission as there are EU countries.

The second day of the EU summit in Brussels: Ukraine and Moldova now candidate countries

Markus Preiß, ARD Brussels, daily news at 20:00, 24 June 2022

Scholz calls for prospects for the countries of the Western Balkans

Scholz reiterated that, following Ukraine and Moldova, the six countries of the Western Balkans also deserve “fair rewards for their efforts.” “They are particularly close to me,” Scholz said, referring to Serbia, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have been trying to get closer to the EU for years.

Scholz 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 that it makes sense for the Heads of State and Government of the 27 EU countries to meet with other top European politicians and lead political discussions.

Doubts about the technical reasons for gas throttling

At his press conference, Chancellor Scholz also reiterated his doubts about Russia’s statements that gas supplies had been cut for technical reasons. “No one in the EU believes that Russia will reduce its gas supplies for technical reasons.”

However, Germany soon prepared for such a situation, he said, referring to the construction of liquefied gas terminals. The EU is well on its way to better coordinating energy policy. He does not want to speculate on how much supply from alternative gas sources can be accelerated. However, many EU countries are working intensively on this. Imports from other countries are a big challenge, “but we will accept it.”

Scholz on the hunger crisis: a “clear message” from the G7 summit

Scholz also blamed Russia for the escalating food crisis ahead of the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria, which began on Sunday. “Russia is responsible for this escalation and Russia alone,” the chancellor said in a welcoming speech at an 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 at risk of starvation. We will ensure that your life does not become a toy for cynical power interests.”

The G7 includes Germany, the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Japan.

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