At the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the resolution on the foreign and security policy of the European Union was voted on.
The main focus of this resolution is on strengthening the role of the EU in the world and the response that must be given in light of the new international circumstances following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
The text of the resolution, which was first approved in the Foreign Affairs Committee, suggested that the European Union should vote by qualified majority rather than consensus in some areas of foreign policy to make voting more efficient.
Some parts of the resolution also mention the Western Balkans region, from where it calls on the EU to accelerate the enlargement process with both candidate countries and potential candidates.
In addition, this resolution calls for the removal of visas for the citizens of Kosovo as soon as possible, as well as the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia, and the granting of candidate country status to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In some places the text mentions Russia’s negative influence on the Balkan region, with the aim of destabilizing the region, and calls for preventing this influence.
In particular, the text calls on Serbia, as a candidate country for EU membership, to respect European values and align its foreign policy with that of the European Union. Serbia remains the only country in the region that has not supported sanctions against Russia.
Also, the continuation of accession negotiations with Serbia should not take place until this country is on the same line as the EU sanctions against Russia.
“The European Parliament stresses that all countries wishing to join the EU must fully align with the fundamental values and common policies related to Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine,” the text says.
The resolution also calls for action against those who threaten the unity and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as sanctions against the leader of Banja Luka’s Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik.
“The European Parliament reiterates the call for the adoption of specific sanctions against destabilizing actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including those that threaten sovereignty and territorial integrity, in particular against Milorad Dodik,” the text says, calling on member countries to adopt these sanctions as soon as possible.
Although not mentioned by name in the text of the resolution, it calls on the European Commission to launch an internal investigation against the Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, based on reports that he “intervened to circumvent the violation of democratic values and rule of law in some candidate countries.”
“The European Parliament remains deeply concerned by reports that the Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement is deliberately trying to ignore and diminish the central importance of democratic reforms and the rule of law in countries in the accession process,” the text reads ./REL/