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12 EU countries urge Belgium to speed up Ukraine and Moldova EU accession talks

by Sonya Bandouil June 6, 2024 5:43 AM 2 min read
The flag of the European Union flies in the wind in front of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France on May 29, 2024. (Philipp von Ditfurth/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Czech Minister for European Affairs Martin Dvorak has urged the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union to advance accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, according to the Czech Press Agency (CTK).

In a letter co-signed by eleven other EU member states, Dvorak commended the Belgian Presidency’s efforts and highlighted the importance of gradually integrating the two countries into EU policies and programs.

Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Slovakia were among the countries that signed Dvorak's letter.

"I believe that now is the right time to move forward and take concrete steps in the process of Ukraine and Moldova joining the EU," Dvorak wrote.

The letter calls for the EU Council to approve negotiating frameworks by June, enabling intergovernmental conferences with both countries by the end of the month.

Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said on May 21 that Belgium is "committed" to beginning Ukraine's EU accession negotiations before the end of its rotating presidency at the beginning of July.

"As you know, the Hungarian presidency of the Council of the EU begins on July 1, so it is important to make the necessary decisions before that, during the Belgian presidency," European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said in May.

Hungary has repeatedly opposed Ukraine's accession to NATO and the EU, as well as sanctions on Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion in 2022.

Politico: EU wants to punish Hungary for its obstructionism by limiting its roles in European Commission
Sources told Politico that there is “no appetite” in the EU for allowing Oliver Varhelyi, a Hungarian diplomat and the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, to keep his position in the forthcoming composition of the commission.

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