Germany’s Chancellor Rejects Ukraine's Swift Entry into the EU - Deems it Unfair to the Balkans

World » EU | May 19, 2022, Thursday // 16:24
Bulgaria: Germany’s Chancellor Rejects Ukraine's Swift Entry into the EU - Deems it Unfair to the Balkans German Chancellor Olaf Scholz @Flickr

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spoken out against the application of a shortened procedure for Ukraine's accession to the European Union.

Addressing the Bundestag ahead of a forthcoming meeting of European leaders, he explained that there could be no such "shortcut" to membership because such an exception would be unfair to the Western Balkan countries, and they would also want fast membership.

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron said it could be "decades" before Ukraine becomes an EU member. Scholz agreed with this position and said today that Kyiv could not count on such a process for several months or years.

Last month, the German leader called for speeding up the accession process of the six non-EU countries of the Western Balkans - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro. In the Albanian and Macedonian cases, negotiations cannot begin because of a veto imposed by Sofia over the dispute with Skopje.

Keeping the promise to both sides is not just a matter of trust in the EU. "Today, more than ever, their integration is our strategic interest," Scholz said. “On the other hand, when it comes to Ukraine, it is more important for the EU to support Ukraine ‘quickly and pragmatically’”. That is why Kyiv received a promise from the Chancellor for additional military support from the rostrum of the Bundestag.

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