"Should poor, corrupt Albania, Serbia, and Turkey join EU?"
British Home Secretary Theresa May has raised the issue of EU's expansion to include candidate countries like Albania, Serbia, and Turkey.Source: B92
The high ranking official of Britain's ruling Conservative Party made the remarks during her speech on the so-called Brexit - an initiative for the country's withdrawal from the EU and the upcoming June referendum on the issue.
According to May, "it is time to question some of the traditional British assumptions about our engagement with the EU," including the British interest in EU's further enlargement, i.e., "expansion."
Speaking about the upcoming referendum, she said that Britain must decide how to participate in the decision-making process in Brussels.
"Do we stop the EU going in the wrong direction by shouting on the sidelines, or by leading and making the case for taking Europe in a better direction? And do we really still think it is in our interests to support automatically and unconditionally the EU’s further expansion?," she asked, and added:
"The states now negotiating to join the EU include Albania, Serbia and Turkey - countries with poor populations and serious problems with organised crime, corruption, and sometimes even terrorism. We have to ask ourselves, is it really right that the EU should just continue to expand, conferring upon all new member states all the rights of membership?."
"Do we really think now is the time to contemplate a land border between the EU and countries like Iran, Iraq and Syria? Having agreed the end of the European principle of 'ever closer union', it is time to question the principle of ever wider expansion," May stated in her remarks.
British analyst and expert on the Balkans James Ker-Lindsay tweeted about the speech to say it was "big news" and an announcement that Britain may block Turkey and Balkans in their bid to join the EU.