The Netherlands supports negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova on membership of the European Union, wrote outgoing Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot in a letter to the Tweede Kamer. The European Commission wants to start negotiations with both countries for this purpose. Talks with Bosnia could also take place later, but this country has yet to take the necessary steps.
Ukraine still had a lot to do before it could be considered for negotiations, but according to the Commission, it has now made good progress despite the war with Russia. For example, Ukraine has strengthened the rule of law by appointing judges more fairly and fighting corruption. The Republic of Moldova has also improved in the fight against corruption.
The Netherlands supports the Commission’s assessment of the opening of accession negotiations. Nevertheless, there is still work to be done for both countries. “Further efforts and results, especially in the areas of good governance and the rule of law, are needed to continue the positive trend,” Minister Bruins Slot wrote.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, is currently not eligible for negotiations. The European Commission thinks that the country still has deficits in areas such as freedom of the press and corruption. The Netherlands agrees with this. However, the Netherlands sees a future for the Balkan country in the EU.
As far as Georgia is concerned, the Dutch government is cautious. According to the Netherlands, the progress the country has made is still limited. Nevertheless, the Netherlands believes that relations between Georgia and the EU should be strengthened in the interests of “regional stability”. Including Georgia in the group of candidate countries would send a “clear signal”.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the countries have been striving to move closer to the EU and are hoping for protection from their large neighbor. “In a changing world, the EU must invest firmly in stronger relations with other countries and regions,” Bruins Slot stated. “Against the backdrop of a new geopolitical reality and in particular the war against Ukraine, the question of the future enlargement of the Union has gained urgency.”
The proposals will be voted on by EU leaders in Brussels in mid-December.
Source : NL Times