Copenhagen now says it supports EU expansion, especially to Ukraine, where EU leaders are due to meet in Brussels soon to decide on the bloc’s future. This represents a clear change of position on the part of Denmark.
“We support the opinion of the European Commission on granting candidate status to Ukraine.”Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told EURACTIV in Luxembourg.
“It is clear that the work of reform, in parallel with the reconstruction of Ukraine, will represent great efforts, and here Denmark will be Ukraine’s partner”he added.
Some EU member states, including Denmark and Portugal, expressed great reluctance to grant Kyiv candidate status before receiving the European Commission’s opinion on the matter, believing that if Ukraine was not at war, it would not be eligible to start the integration process.
Mr. Kofod also said that he would be happy to “Now we were focusing more on the Western Balkans, because this was necessary for many years”.
“The process of expansion and the policy surrounding it and investing in it are more important than ever.”He said, adding that Copenhagen will support “definitely” North Macedonia and Albania in their process of Amembership.
“We want to ensure a meritocracy approach to enlargement, because that is the best way to ensure that these countries will eventually qualify for EU membership on issues of democracy, rule of law, economics and others.”thought Mr. Kofod.
There are no changes to the treaty
In response to a question from EURACTIV about French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal, Mr. Kofod replied that it was not yet clear what this would entail in practice.
In May, Mr. Macron made a new proposal european political community This would allow Ukraine and other countries currently outside the EU to be more closely linked to the EU without becoming members.
“The fact that we are helping our neighbours, candidates for EU membership, move closer to European democratic values and that we are helping them on their journey is something we support – but not as a substitute for the enlargement process,” Mr. Kofod said.
He also rejected the idea of canceling the consensus in forming the bloc’s foreign policy.
In addition, Denmark is among a third of the EU member states that have opposed the launch of a procedure to amend the union’s treaties with the encouragement of the European Parliament.
“We think we are much stronger when the 27 members of the European Union unite around a common goal and do not want to change the core interests of the member states.”Mr. Kofod said.