Scholz blows top at EU and demands urgent reform as bloc eyes up huge expansion. Source: EXPRESS. Daily Briefing

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Scholz blows top at EU and demands urgent reform as bloc eyes up huge expansion

OLAF SCHOLZ has warned that the European Union’s membership cannot keep growing without urgent reform.

By Teresa Gottein Martinez

09:38, Tue, Aug 30, 2022 | UPDATED: 09:50, Tue, Aug 30, 2022

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European Union formally makes Ukraine a candidate for EU

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The German Chancellor on Monday pledged to back Ukraine and other hopefuls to join the EU. He underlined, however, that enlarging the 27-nation bloc to “30 or 36” would require the union to “seek compromises together”.

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In addition to Ukraine, Mr Scholz said he was “committed to” having the six nations of the western Balkans, Moldova and Georgia accede to the EU.

But as the bloc widened, each member’s veto right would have to go, the German leader said, with a transition to a “majority voting” system so as not to slow the bloc’s decision-making processes.

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which last week hit the dreadful six-month mark, was already putting the system of unanimity to the test at a time when swift action was all the more necessary.

Mr Scholz clarified for member states they are now not faced with only two options of voting — yes or no — but can also adopt “constructive abstention”.

READ MORE: ‘Security win!’ Scholz calls for common EU air defence system to counter Russian threat

Olaf Scholz

‘Let’s seek compromises together’, Scholz tells EU leaders in face of the bloc’s upcoming expansion (Image: GETTY)

In a speech on his vision for the bloc at Charles University in Prague, the Chancellor said: “Let’s seek compromises together.

“I could imagine, for example, starting with a majority voting in areas in which it is particularly important that we speak with one voice – in sanctions policy, for example, or on issues relating to human rights.”

Human rights violations lie at the heart of Moscow’s war on Kyiv.

Since the full-scale military conflict was launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin in late February, 13,718 civilian casualties were recorded in Ukraine, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Ukraine's EU membership candidacy

Ukraine was granted EU membership candidacy in. June (Image: DAILY EXPRESS)

The OHCHR said these include a total of 5,663 killed — 2,195 men, 1,512 women, 149 girls, and 178 boys, as well as 38 children and 1,591 adults whose sex is yet unknown — and a total of 8,055 injured.

Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and air strikes, the OHCHR said.

The agency added it believes the actual figures are significantly higher, as access to information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration.

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