It is inconceivable to me that Ukraine gets candidate status, and at the same time countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) do not get it. We must not provoke false expectations in Ukraine either, because the enlargement process is complex and time-consuming, said Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, noting that there must be no double criteria and first or second-class candidates.
”We must ensure that the same criteria are applied as in other Western Balkan countries seeking candidate status,” said the Austrian chancellor.
He noted that Ukraine is part of the European family, saying that Austria, as a militarily neutral country, supports Ukraine as much as possible in the fight against Russian aggression, as well as efforts to end the war.
”As for the possible candidate status for the European Union (EU), I would like to emphasize that there are clear and already established criteria, which should be adhered to without any ‘if’ and ‘but’,” Nehammer added.
He said that it is necessary to think about intermediate steps in the accession process, such as a European Preparatory Area for membership.
”This preparatory space should not be a substitute for the accession process but go hand in hand and facilitate approximation to EU standards. Austria has already presented concrete ideas to the EU, and President Macron also presented his idea of a “European political community”, which I support. In any case, we will continue to play an active role in the discussion process,” the Austrian chancellor concluded.