EU Enlargement: Will The EU Welcome New Members?

EU Enlargement: Will The EU Welcome New Members?

The European Union's Commission recently greenlit the 2023 Enlargement Package, offering a comprehensive evaluation of the advancements made by Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ukraine. Recommendations have been put forth for each country's progression towards EU membership.

The Commission has recommended granting Georgia the status of a candidate country, marking a significant step in its journey towards EU integration.

For Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Commission proposed initiating accession negotiations once the country attains the necessary level of compliance with the membership criteria. Highlighting key priorities outlined in their EU membership application, Bosnia and Herzegovina is urged to intensify efforts in meeting these criteria.

Notably, Ukraine has met all prerequisites stipulated for its EU accession, signalling substantial readiness for integration.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasised the crucial nature of this enlargement policy for the bloc. She reiterated that the expansion of the EU signifies mutual benefits for both aspiring nations and the existing EU members.

Pathway to EU Membership

While the Commission's recommendations set the stage, negotiations are contingent upon unanimous approval from EU member states at the upcoming European Council meeting in December. Subsequently, accession negotiations commence, involving over thirty chapters categorised into six thematic clusters. These chapters pave the way for aspiring members to align with EU laws and standards (acquis).

Furthermore, the final endorsement rests on unanimous agreement among member states, culminating in a final round of Commission recommendations, member state votes, and European Parliament approval. This sequence precedes the ratification of an accession treaty, marking the conclusive phase of the accession process.

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