Von der Leyen: EU membership depends on will-performance

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“The countries of the Western Balkans have gone further than the three countries for which the Commission recommends giving a European perspective. Montenegro and Serbia have already entered the accession negotiations. “They are going to start with Albania and Northern Macedonia and I hope we will find a solution with Bulgaria,” said von der Leyen.

The President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was asked about the progress of the accession of the countries of the Western Balkans in an interview given to a group of media, including the Belgian newspaper Libre.

“The countries of the Western Balkans have gone further than the three countries for which the Commission recommends giving a European perspective. Montenegro and Serbia have already entered the accession negotiations. “They are going to start with Albania and Northern Macedonia and I hope we will find a solution with Bulgaria,” said von der Leyen.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina has received the European perspective, but it must implement 14 priorities. If it does, it will be able to start accession negotiations. “And this proves that the accession process is flexible and depends to a large extent on the developments in the candidate countries,” he added, while – as the newspaper notes – he cited the example of Slovakia and Turkey.

In particular, the President of the Commission pointed out that “the most typical example is the comparison between Turkey and Slovakia. Both became candidate countries in 1999. Five years later, in 2004, Slovakia was a member of the European Union, having done its best to succeed, while Turkey is now further away from the EU than in the past. It depends on the will, the unity and the performance of the candidate countries “.

Ursula von der Leyen was also asked about the possibility of imposing a ceiling on gas prices.

“The European Council has asked us to look at different models for managing the issue of gas prices. “The results are not yet on the table, but I believe that in the long run, the RePowerEU strategy is right with this combination of supplier diversification, energy savings and the development of renewable energy sources that will make us independent.”

“It will not be easy, but in the medium term, looking back, we will see that we have made the right decision to invest in clean technologies and energies that have freed us from our dependence on Russian fossil fuels,” she said.

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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