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    PM: “EU should admit Ukraine, Moldova, Western Balkan states”

    The EU should accept Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and western Balkans country as members, if Europe is to remain a strategically strong region, the Polish prime minister has said.

    EU leaders decided on Thursday during a two-day summit in Brussels to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and its neighbour Moldova. But they stopped short of offering the same privilege to Georgia. While not excluding such a possibility, Brussels asked Tbilisi for more reforms before it could become a candidate.

    “If Europe wants to be a strong player on the international arena, it must be interested in what has been going on on its outskirts,” Morawiecki told reporters at the end of the summit on Friday.

    “If Europe is to be a strategically strong region, it must accept Ukraine, Moldova, Western Balkans countries, and Georgia, if it has carried out democratic changes,” Morawiecki said.

    The prime minister said that the EU should also adopt a flexible approach to evaluating the accession process in order to avoid “a wall of aversion on the one hand, and of frustration on the other.”

    “This was visible in the reaction of Western Balkan countries,” he added, in an apparent reference to Serbia where enthusiasm for EU membership has waned.

    Given this, Morawicki added, there needed to be a change in attitude towards EU enlargement in order to keep candidate countries interested and not disheartened.

    “If there is no change in this attitude, and the (accession – PAP) process will not take a few years but will drag on over many years, it will either generate frustration or make people believe that Europe is marked by infirmity, helplessness and lack of strength,” he said.



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