At the European Summit of Regions and Cities held in Marseille on 3-4 March, ECR Vice-President Anna Magyar (County Councillor in Csongrád Megye, Hungary) regretted the EU's lack of vision with regard to the Western Balkan countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. According to Ms Magyar, EU's enlargement needs new impetus as it is not only about financial assistance, but above all about fostering common security.
Explaining the importance of the enlargement process, Ms Magyar stressed how crucial the security aspect of the process is. Some Member States have too often viewed the enlargement process merely as a financial matter. "Now, in the light of the Ukraine war, the EU must rethink its strategic vision for security policy. We must not abandon the Western Balkan countries. It is in the EU's interest to involve these countries in our present and in our future," Anna Magyar stressed.
The ECR member went on to urge the EU to take a step forward with all of the enlargement countries: "those who wish to, should be able to obtain candidate status and negotiations should go ahead with all the countries involved. I believe that the European Committee of the Regions – which has always upheld the interests of citizens – has the responsibility to draw attention to the need for urgent measures to be taken. It is as much in the interest of the citizens of the enlargement countries as it is of those of the EU Member States," Ms Magyar ended by saying.
Ms Magyar is the spokesperson of the European Committee of the Regions on the Enlargement Package 2021. Her opinion on this topic will be adopted in June this year.