Prague to host summit on potential EU enlargement

The Czech Republic will host an informal EU summit on the alliance’s potential eastward expansion once it takes over the rotating EU Council presidency, Prime Minister Petr Fiala told reporters on Friday. journalists at the EU summit in Brussels.

Mr Fiala said that EU Council President Charles Michel and French President Emmanuel Macron had asked him to organize such an event so that EU leaders could address an issue that had become very topical and needed debate. more in-depth.

The head of the Czech government said he considered it a good way to start the Czech EU presidency, that the country takes over from France on July 1.

“EU leaders have asked me to prepare, together with French President Macron and EU Council President Michel, a framework for an informal summit on wider European cooperation with non-member states that could be held in Prague. Ukraine could be one of the guests,” Fiala said.

“It is possible that the first meeting of the European political community will take place in Prague after the summer, under the leadership of the current EU presidency of the Czech Republic,” said Michel, after the summit. European.

EU grants candidate status to Ukraine

The European Union has agreed to put Ukraine on the path to EU membership, acting with unusual speed and unity to further distance the beleaguered country from Russian influence and bind it more closely to the West.

Meeting at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, the leaders of the 27 EU countries secured the unanimous approval required to grant Ukraine candidate status. This triggers an accession process that could take years or even decades.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted his gratitude and said: “The future of Ukraine is in the EU”.

The EU has also granted candidate status to the tiny country of Moldova, another former Soviet republic that borders Ukraine.

Ukraine applied for membership less than a week after the February 24 invasion of Moscow. Thursday’s decision was unusually quick for the EU and its slow approach to expansion. But the war and Ukraine’s request for an expedited review have given urgency to the country’s cause.

Berta D. Wells