** Mededeling van de Europese Groene Fractie ***
EU cannot close the door to the Balkans
Commenting in advance of tomorrow's vote in the European Parliament on the future EU enlargement strategy, Green MEPs Angelika Beer and Joost Lagendijk, Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee , said:
"The Greens strongly condemn the moves by Elmar Brok to distort the meaning of the EP enlargement report. While the report does not rule out the prospect of membership for the Balkans, rapporteur Elmar Brok has publicly questioned the 'absorption capacity' of the EU and suggested alternatives to full membership. This kind of doublespeak sends a dangerous signal at a time of flux in the region - with ongoing discussions on the future status of Kosovo, Montenegro and the Bosnian constitution. The EU needs to send an unequivocal message that the Balkan states belong in the Union."
"The European Parliament report clearly underlines the need to honour commitments already made by the EU to current candidate countries Croatia and Turkey, as well as the Balkan states. It recognises that the Western Balkans will become an integral part of the EU and that the prospect of EU membership is the ultimate incentive to achieve the reforms which are necessary to create a lasting peace and stability in the Western Balkans. There is no call for halting enlargement, instead the report calls on the Commission to propose close multilateral relations with the EU for those European countries, which currently do not have the prospect of membership, such as Moldova or Ukraine."
"The Greens/EFA group is calling on all groups in the EP to fully support the commitments in the report and not to undermine consensus on the future of enlargement."