Pitsula: The EU should expand, but the candidate countries must respect our values

Photo: MIA

Croatian MEP Tonino Pizzula says that countries aspiring to join the EU must respect the values ​​of the Union. During the debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg after the Draft Regulation for the creation of the Mechanism for Reform and Growth in the Western Balkans, he said that they always encouraged enlargement and believed that the admission of the countries of the Western Balkans to the EU is very important.

- We must fulfill our promises, but so must the countries of the Western Balkans. Our waiting room is completely full and now is the time to work on the enlargement ambitions, stressed Pitsula, who is the rapporteur of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee regarding legislation.

Pitsula emphasized that individual merits in respecting democratic standards and the rule of law should be the basis for assessing the readiness of a candidate country for EU membership, because, as he said, although it is important to build bridges and tunnels, human rights are still are the basic value of the Union, reported MIA.

– The European Union is more than an economic union. It is about a Union of shared values ​​and risks. Once a candidate country for membership meets all the criteria, it should not have any political dilemmas, Pitsula added, stressing that EU enlargement is one of the most successful European policies and therefore it must continue.

He reminded that the Mechanism for Reforms and Growth in the Western Balkans should be effective from the second half of this year, until 2027, and includes a total amount of six billion euros, of which two billion euros are non-refundable grants and four billion euros are loans under favorable conditions. .

Pitsula pointed out that in addition to the initial obligations that the countries of the Western Balkans have to fulfill in order to be able to use the benefits of the Growth Plan, the recommendations for combating disinformation and for harmonizing the visa regime with that of the Union have also been introduced, while for Kosovo and Serbia, as a prerequisite, the results section of their dialogue has been added.

 

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