Banja Luka-based daily Nezavisne novine quoted French diplomatic sources saying that France will neither stop nor slow down the enlargement of the European Union.
Sources, who insisted on remaining anonymous as they do not have the formal approval of French authorities, said that French President Emmanuel Macron fully supported European Commission’s efforts aimed at Balkan countries’ integration into the EU.
Macron on Tuesday ruled out any expansion of the European Union until the 28-nation bloc undertakes serious reform, despite warnings that such move might lead to a new war in the Balkans.
Speaking at the session of the European Parliament dedicated to the region of Western Balkans, Macron said that he was not against the enlargement, but added that he could not advocate it at this point in time - as it needed to be preceded by reforming the EU at its current size.
“I do not want a Balkans that turns toward Turkey or Russia, but I do not want Europe that, working with difficulty at 28 and tomorrow at 27, decided that it could continue to run at 30 or 32 tomorrow with the same rules”, Macron said.
Sources explained that Macron’s statements had been somewhat taken out of the context, because his entire speech was about the reform of the EU, and the statement covered by the media was actually Macron’s explanation and response to one MEP’s question.