26 juin 2007
C’est par la combinaison de son approfondissement interne et de ses élargissements successifs que l’Europe a pu avec succès s’adapter aux mutations passées. L’Union européenne actuelle, forte de 27 États membres et de près de 500 millions d’habitants, est beaucoup plus puissante et plus influente que la communauté économique qui regroupait, il y a un demi-siècle, six États et moins de 200 millions de personnes. Approfondissement et élargissement ne sont donc pas contradictoires, mais complémentaires. C’est par leur combinaison que l’Europe est plus forte, plus puissante, plus influente aujourd’hui.
17 January 2007
I am glad to discuss the Western Balkans in this highly qualified company and here in Rome. Italy is a strong supporter of the EU’s enlargement policy and a great advocate of the European perspective for the Western Balkans. I thank you for your support and commitment. Let me begin by referring to the results of the December European Council. After the Summit we had headlines indicating that «EU leaders are closing doors to the East». This was misleading spinning. The correct headlines should have read «the EU keeps its doors open for South Eastern Europe». This door is kept open for Turkey, Croatia and the other countries of the Western Balkans. Once any of these countries meets the EU’s accession criteria, she can, on her own merits, walk through that door.
8 March 2006
After generations of division and conflict, the EU is peacefully creating a united and free Europe with a carefully managed accession process. For over three decades, the EU has successfully enlarged to a very diverse set of countries. In new circumstances, such as after the collapse of communism, the EU has proved to be a stabilising power - also in Slovenia. For example, the EU used its membership conditionality to project its political and economic values to all transition countries, and continues to do the same today in the Western Balkans.
22 February 2006
The power of the European Union lies mostly in its soft power. Joseph S. Nye has defined soft power as «the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than through coercion». This describes correctly the philosophy of EU accession process. By extending the zone of peace and democracy, the EU has achieved far more through its gravitational pull than it could have achieved by a stick or a sword.
22 November 2005
A few weeks ago I reported to you on the Commission’s findings concerning Bulgaria and Romania’s preparations for accession. Today I am glad to present to you the Commission’s views on the enlargement strategy as a whole, and on the candidate countries Turkey and Croatia and the potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans.