EU Must Be Extended to Ukraine – Estonian President

Saturday, 7 October 2023

Estonian President Alar Karis has said at the meeting of the Arraiolos Group presidents in Portugal that the European Union enlargement has become a success story that must be extended to Ukraine.

According to Postimees, Karis said Ukraine has proven that it can reform the country even during the war, so everything must be done to help Ukraine join the EU and win the war.

"We all must continue to help Ukraine as long as necessary," Karis said.

Karis's words were discussed at the presidents’ meeting concerning the changes necessary for the EU to be ready for the next major enlargement.

"Estonia is ready to discuss the reforms of EU institutions, politics, and budget, which are necessary for the unity, development and effective functioning of the union in the process of enlargement within the basic agreements," Karis confirmed. "The enlargement success formula is simple: the candidate countries have to do their part, and the European Union does its own. This is a mutually supportive and interdependent activity."

President Karis emphasised that it is vital to keep the EU strong and united and listen to citizens' wishes while developing the action plan. The president noted that most Europeans want to promote sustainable development, reduce energy consumption, and fight inflation.

Karis also called for vigilance during the European Parliament elections, as voters should be wary of those who offer simple solutions to complex problems. Karis also expressed his firm belief that the EU should place education at its existence centre. The president said educated people are more critical of populism and disinformation campaigns.

The Arraiolos Group is an informal meeting of heads of state who, in accordance with their country's constitution, do not participate in European Council meetings.

The first such meeting took place in the Portuguese city of Arraiolos. The presidents of Latvia, Poland, Germany, Finland and Hungary visited this meeting.

The final declaration of the informal European Union summit in the Spanish city of Granada does not contain a time frame for union expansion; instead, the need for parallel internal transformations is mentioned.

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