MUNICH – The EU commissioner who, over the past five years, tried and failed to get Ukraine to sign up to pro-EU reforms has said only the promise of accession can change former Soviet states.
“If we are serious about helping this part of Europe to transform, the association agreement is only the first step. The next one should be the light at the end of the tunnel. You can’t transform this part of Europe without using this most powerful instrument [enlargement],” former Czech diplomat Stefan Fuele told a congress of European and US security chiefs in Munich on Saturday (2 February).
Romanian President Traian Basescu backed him up.
“You can’t just invite them to associate with the EU, but say: ‘Yes. But this does not guarantee you will ever get into the EU’,” he said also in Munich.
Meanwhile, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former US national security advisor, said the solution to the Ukraine crisis lies in Washington and Moscow as much as in Brussels or Kiev.
“The US and the Russian Federation have to talk to each other about this because the issue involves the larger dimension of European stability,” he told the Munich event.
He also urged the EU be more “assertive,” however.
Brzezinski noted that German President Joachim Gauck one day earlier had said Germany should assume a greater role in EU foreign and defence policy.
He called Gauck’s speech “remarkable.”
Full article: EU commissioner calls for Ukraine accession promise (EU Observer)