February 10, 2020 Plenary Sessions


New methodology is a step forward, but it is up to the Member States to deliver on their promises, MEP Picula said at a plenary session in Strasbourg tonight.

"New methodology is set only three months after European Council meeting where two WB countries have been denied to start negotiations. This demonstrates how EU institutions can respond at times of crisis. The primacy of democracy and the rule of law should be placed to the very centre of the enlargement process by opening first and closing last chapters related to judiciary, corruption and organised crime as well as the respect of human rights and media freedom.

I agree that the new approach introduces some better elements - above all, it allows negotiating countries to use EU programs before accession, such as the TEN-T transport network or the European Green Deal. In essence, new approach does not differ much in substance from the existing negotiating framework, which was became more complex with every new enlargement.

It’s also good that already negotiating countries can decide for themselves whether they want or not to negotiate according to the new methodology. For example, Montenegro has been negotiating for 8 years and only one chapter remains to be opened. Member States are invited to participate more systematically in the accession process than it has previously been the case.

That’s why I hope this document will convince more sceptical members to open negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania, hopefully at the March Council meeting.

It is clear that the decision to postpone the opening of the negotiations directly called into question the reform processes in these countries, which have been required for years. That was directly denied support for those that implement them. The new methodology offers a sustainable model, and it’s now up to Member States to deliver on their promises and thus restore credibility to enlargement process as such", said MEP Picula in his speech.

See the video. 

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