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European Union: MEP Bernard Guetta welcomes “a clear message” sent “to both Ukrainians and Russians” – franceinfo

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“We are sending a perfectly clear message to both Ukrainians and Russians,” said Bernard Guetta, MEP from the Renew Europe group, on Thursday June 23, while the leaders of the European Union recognized Thursday to Ukraine and to Moldova the status of candidate to the European Union. >> European Union: we summarize the main steps awaiting Ukraine, officially designated as a candidate for membership “Contrary to what Mr. Putin says, Ukraine does not belong to Russia. Ukraine is a country sovereign”, reaffirms Bernard Guetta. He stresses that in the future it will be necessary to provide for “several levels of integration” in the EU. franceinfo: What does this status of candidate for the European Union granted to Ukraine represent? Bernard Guetta: We are sending a perfectly clear message to both Ukrainians and Russians that no, contrary to what Mr. Putin says and what his military aggression against Ukraine means, Ukraine does not belong to the Russia. Ukraine is a sovereign country. Ukraine, since 2014, has been asking us for the status of a candidate country for the European Union. We are six years later. If we had continued not to grant it this status, we would have said to the Russians, it is true, Ukraine belongs to you, Ukraine does not have the possibility of deciding its own destiny. Ukraine is not the only country that wants to join the EU. How to interpret it? On the European continent, there are a dozen countries that are knocking on the door of the European Union. And these countries cannot be ignored for two reasons. On the one hand, because it is a very fine tribute paid to the European Union. People everywhere want to join the European Union. And if we continue to refuse or postpone the opening of real discussions with the countries, particularly in the Western Balkans, other powers, Russia, Turkey, but also China, would be interested in these European regions, which are regions bordering the European Union. And we cannot, for reasons of economic and strategic security, allow ourselves to allow Russia, Turkey, China to gain a foothold in the Balkans, that is to say on the European continent. The Albanian prime minister advised Ukrainians not to have any illusions about the process. “North Macedonia has been a candidate for 17 years, Albania for eight years. So welcome to Ukraine,” he quipped. Does that illustrate your point? Not quite. This Prime Minister does not realize that there is a change of era, a change of period. There, he talks about the procedures for joining the European Union, which were indeed incredibly long. The number of years he cites is indisputable. But on the other hand, we realize today in the European Union that, precisely because we must open up a European perspective to Ukraine and very probably to ten other countries in the medium term, we must completely change the approach to enlargements. And today, there is evidence among the 27 that the European Union must be reinvented in concentric circles. It’s a multi-speed Europe, with countries that will not immediately have the same opportunities for action as other countries that are already much more integrated into the European Union and these standards. The European Union has environmental, social, economic and political standards, especially in terms of freedom, respect for the state and human rights. And there is no question of lowering the level of these standards. There must therefore be several degrees, several levels of integration within the European Union. And there, we are not inventing anything. Jacques Delors, when he was President of the Commission, invented the expression concentric circles. This is exactly what we are going to come back to. Today, there are several ideas on the table which are very interesting one and the other. We will examine them. And we are going to find the best way to reinvent the European institutions so that we can carry out the enlargements that have become necessary without this paralyzing the European institutions.

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