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Maasikas: enlargement policy contributes to ensuring EU’s security
Today, on 8 September, Estonian Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas met with the foreign ministers of the candidate countries for EU to discuss the current situation of enlargement policy.
Unanimous support for the Western Balkans’ European perspective was expressed at the European Council meeting in March.
Maasikas says that Estonia supports EU enlargement, based on EU values and under strict conditionality that will contribute to our stability and security. "The doors of the European Union must stay open, we always have and will continue to emphasise it,” Maasikas said.
Estonia will continue the enlargement process during the Presidency of the Council of the EU, but it depends on candidate countries as well as potential candidate countries and whether they meet the necessary conditions and implement reforms. Maasikas said: “We seek as much forward progress as possible, but it is important here that we can only move forward and only as much as the candidate countries do their homework and meet their commitments.”
According to the deputy minister, it is in the interests of the candidate countries as well as the EU that the candidates become safe countries that respect human rights and basic freedoms, so as to regain citizens’ trust in state institutions, political system and media freedom.
Maasikas confirmed that Estonia will include candidate countries in different meetings in Tallinn and Brussels as well as in cooperation with the next holder of the Presidency in October, when the conference of the ministers of justice and home affairs of the EU and the Western Balkans takes place in Sofia.
The participants of the working lunch were the ministers of Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.