Quick entry into the EU without the right to veto is "knocking on the wrong door"

Bojan Maricic / July 19, 2022 / Photo: Government of the Republic of North Macedonia

Quick entry into the EU without the right to veto is "knocking on the wrong door"

A few days ago, the Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs, Bojan Maricic, fueled hopes with the statement that it is worth discussing the idea of ​​faster membership of the countries of the Western Balkans in the EU with a frozen right of veto or of a commissioner in the first 5 to 10 years, explaining that for it is important for us to enter the political decision-making system through the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers as soon as possible.

But for some experts, and for some diplomats, this "quick entry without the right of veto" is unrealistic and borders on an illusion. It is true that such an initiative has been talked about for years, but diplomats say that it is difficult, almost impossible to expect realization until the EU Treaty is changed.

- This is knocking on the wrong door at a time when it is not necessary to waste energy on false hopes, diplomatic sources commented briefly.

Even if there is talk of some kind of procedure for passing this initiative, experts say that there are many segments that are not clear. If you look only at the frozen veto, some legal experts believe that it implies a change in the agreements, while others argue that it can be solved with a derogation. But it is already a legal debate that no one knows whether it is necessary and whether it can be opened right now.

Simonida Katsarska from the Institute for European Policies says that the accession to the EU with a delayed veto for part of the region is one of the ideas that has appeared in circulation in the past two years, considering how complex the accession process is, with an unpredictable and uncertain end.

- The proposal is primarily aimed at the member states, to deal with their fears that the increase in the number of actors at the table will lead to an additional blockade in the EU - says Katsarska for "Sloboden Pechat".

This, she clarifies, is one of the proposals that are the subject of discussion primarily among the expert public, where the potential repercussions are also considered, but it is far from some form of formal proposal.

Maricic, defending this initiative, said that "it is better to be at the table than to wait another ten years for the EU to reform and of course not have those rights".

- The right to veto and the right to elect a commissioner from us, even if they come later, is not a terrible problem, because of course the states need five to 10 years to socialize in that new system. We want to be in the EU because of the acceptance of those values ​​and standards, entry into the common market and participation in major decisions - Maricic said.

Diplomats say that under the EU Treaty, the only possibility is the Passarella rule as a mechanism to introduce an amendment of a specific nature. "These rules modify the decision-making rules affecting acts of the Council of the EU by allowing qualified majority voting instead of unanimity or moving from a special to an ordinary legislative procedure," says Passarella's explanation of the rule.

According to diplomats, expecting changes now is only a theoretical question.

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