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Germany’s Scholz backs EU enlargement to include Ukraine, others


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Monday (Aug 29) for an enlargement of the European Union to eventually include Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, and said a gradual transition to majority voting was a stepping stone to growing the bloc.

Faced with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Scholz urged the EU’s 27 members to “close ranks, resolve old conflicts and find new solutions” and said Germany would keep up its support for Kyiv “for as long as it takes”.

In a speech entitled “Europe is our future”, he said “we must bring the clout of our united Europe much more strongly to bear … Europe is our future. And that future is in our hands.”

Scholz underlined Germany’s commitment to EU enlargement, stressing that the countries of the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and eventually also Georgia should join the bloc.

However, “in this expanded Union, the differences between the member states will grow as far as political interests, economic clout and social security systems are concerned”, he said.

“Where unanimity is required today, the risk of an individual country using its veto and preventing all the others from forging ahead increases with each additional member state,” Scholz added.

“I have therefore proposed a gradual transition to majority voting in common foreign policy, but also in other areas, such as tax policy – knowing full well that this would also have repercussions for Germany,” he said.

Germany will send weapons to Kyiv in the coming weeks, Scholz added in his speech to the Charles University.

Apart from sending advanced air defence, radar systems or drones, Germany could assume special responsibility in terms of building up Ukraine’s artillery and air defence capacities, Scholz said.

Source : Channel News Asia