Enlargement is “part of solution” for EU problems

BRUSSELS -- EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule says the enlargement is not a cause of the problem but a part of a solution, European Movement in Serbia has released.

Stefan Fule (Tanjug, file)
Stefan Fule (Tanjug, file)

“In the light of the crisis, citizens of the EU and candidate countries are worried but the enlargement is not a cause of difficulties and issues that exist in the EU, it is a part of a solution,” Fule said at a conference dubbed “Enlargement in Perspective” in Brussels.

Fule pointed out that Croatia’s accession represented a proof of the EU’s ability to transform and added that “only candidate countries talk about the enlargement fatigue but it is actually a reform fatigue”.

According to him, monitoring of the economic policy will be increased in the pre-accession period and greater attention will be devoted to issues of transportation, energy, climate change and small- and medium-sized companied.

“We are sorry that (Serbia’s) pre-accession negotiations have not started yet. We believe it would be of extreme importance for the transformation of our country and society and it would be additional wind at the back of active civil society to insist on reforms the EU demands and citizens want,” European Movement in Serbia Secretary General Maja Bobić said at the conference.

She pointed out that the EU accession still provided the best possible framework for complex economic, political, social and cultural reforms in the countries of the region.

“The economic crisis has made the enlargement process less attractive and the EU does not look stable, capable or interested in transformation of societies and states like before,” Bobić noted and added that Serbia’s EU accession process had been identified with the normalization of relations with Kosovo.

European Parliament (EP) Enlargement Rapporteur Maria Eleni Koppa stressed at the conference that the enlargement was the most successful part of the EU’s foreign policy but that enthusiasm among member states was declining.