Home Human Rights Let’s Talk Europe – “If Europe wants long-term security, it must expand”: European Commissioner Várhelyi

Let’s Talk Europe – “If Europe wants long-term security, it must expand”: European Commissioner Várhelyi

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Várhelyi insists that there has been a new approach to EU enlargement since the war in Ukraine: “We have seen that with Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, we are rethinking clearly for enlargement to be a priority,” he said. “I think now it is clear to everyone Europe, not only to leaders but also to the general public, that if Europe wants to ensure its long-term security and prosperity, it will have to expand and have a larger population sharing the same values ​​and creating the same space for all in a Europe of peace, stability and security. Now, if you want to look at the State of the Union address in that context, I think that speech set the stage for how to get there, as a reality in the medium or even short term.

More specifically, on a key issue of enlargement, Várhelyi talks about the growth plan for the Western Balkans. “What you will see rolled out this fall is a growth plan designed for the Western Balkans, which includes four pillars: the opportunity for rapid growth the integration (i.e. real integration on the ground), the integration of the economy, the integration of societies and the acceleration of the necessary reforms. We can accelerate the process of allowing countries to join us effectively in daily life, without waiting for the institutional process.”

Change to Türkiye, where Várhelyi recently visited, he said, “Turkey is now at a very important moment, and we heard very encouraging messages right after the elections from the president, as well as from the new government, indicating that they want their country to restart. relationship with Europe. The European Council was quick to discuss this and ask the Commission to create the parameters for a positive agenda with Turkey. We are supposed to go back and report to the European Council again this year. What I was doing in Turkey was mapping out areas where we could develop a positive program. And yes, Turkey is in a customs union with us. Turkey is a very important market for us. Turkey is a very important investment country for us. Turkey is one of the strongest NATO allies on our continent. So we have a lot in common. And if you look at the geography, it’s very clear that we depend on each other.”

Várhelyi also discusses the recent EU-Tunisia agreement and the EU’s efforts to combat human trafficking: “Clandestine trafficking is a priority for us, whether in the Western Balkans or North Africa, because we are helping our partners there to create the necessary capabilities. to protect their borders and suppress organized crime, to work together because these networks know no borders. And of course, our authorities, our police forces, our security forces must also help our partners to repress these international networks.

Produced by Isabelle Romero, Sophie Samaille and Perrine Desplats

The action was co-financed by the European Union as part of the European Parliament’s grant program in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is in no way responsible or bound by the information or opinions expressed in this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, respondents, publishers or broadcasters of programs are solely responsible. The European Parliament cannot also be held responsible for any direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.


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