Skip to content
Edit post

Belgian PM: EU needs to reform before further enlargement

by Martin Fornusek January 6, 2024 10:47 AM 2 min read
Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is addressing the press at the European Council summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Dec. 15, 2023. (Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, whose country currently presides over the Council of the EU, said on Jan. 5 that the bloc must undertake reforms before accepting new members.

The statement comes less than a month after the European Council agreed to launch accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova.

Speaking at a Brussels press conference together with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, de Croo said that the Belgian presidency would work on a negotiating framework for the entry of the two candidate countries.

"The European population looks to the European Union...with expectations to protect them, with expectations to strengthen our well-being, our welfare, and with expectations to prepare a common future," de Croo said.

"A common future here in Europe means also, of course, Ukraine in the heart of Europe. It is the best guarantee for our future security and collective stability."

The prime minister nevertheless noted that reforms are needed before the enlargement, saying that "before we get bigger, we need to get better."

The EU must improve its ability to make quick decisions while maintaining unity and be more efficient with the resources of its member countries, he said.

BREAKING: European Council agrees to open accession talks with Ukraine, Moldova
The European Council has agreed to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova, European Council President Charles Michel announced on Dec. 14.

Weeks before the EU summit that greenlit the accession talks with Kyiv, Hungary threatened to derail the European unity and block the start of the negotiations.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban eventually allowed other leaders to reach a consensus by leaving the room during a key vote.

European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova was hopeful about Kyiv's membership process, saying it will take years rather than decades. European Council President Charles Michel said in October that Ukraine should become a full member by 2030.

While not obstructing the accession talks, Budapest blocked the EU funding package for Ukraine of 50 billion euros ($55 billion) during the December summit. European leaders are to re-convene on Feb. 1 to discuss the issue.

Speaking at the press conference with de Croo, von der Leyen said that the Commission is working on "operational solutions" to assist Ukraine if the proposed $55 million funding package falls through.

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

9:50 PM

Media: Zelensky may visit Armenia in near future.

President Volodymyr Zelensky may visit Armenia in “the near future,” the Armenian news outlet FactorTV reported on Feb. 23. Preparations for the visit are currently underway, but the exact date has not yet been confirmed, the outlet reported, citing its sources.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
7:23 PM

Canada announces new sanctions against Russia.

Canada's new sanctions will target those who provide Russia with military equipment, offer services such as insurance to Russian soldiers, and otherwise help support the finances and logistics of the Russian state
2:36 PM

Ukraine, Denmark finalize long-term security agreement.

The U.K., Germany, and France have earlier signed similar deals to help Ukraine repel Russia's aggression based on a pledge made by the Group of Seven (G7) last July. Denmark is the first non-G7 country to finalize the deal.
1:59 PM

Biden announces new package of sanctions against Russia.

“Today, I am announcing more than 500 new sanctions against Russia for its ongoing war of conquest on Ukraine and for the death of Aleksei Navalny, who was a courageous anti-corruption activist and Putin’s fiercest opposition leader,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement published by the White House.
1:40 PM

US Senate Majority Leader arrives in Lviv for talks with Zelensky.

"I am leading this delegation to meet with President (Volodymyr Zelensky) to show the Ukrainian people that America stands with them, to show our NATO and European allies we stand with them, to learn about the arms Ukraine vitally needs, and to protect our democracy and national security," Chuck Schumer wrote on the social media platform X.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.