Prague to Host Summit on Potential EU Expansion

Prague Summit EU Expansion

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

Mr. Fiala said he had been asked by the President of the EU Council Charles Michel and French President Emmanuel Macron to organize such an event so that EU leaders could address an issue that has become highly topical and needs further debate.

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

“The EU leaders asked me to prepare, together with the French President Macron and the President of the EU Council 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,” said Fiala.

“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, at the end of the European summit.

EU grants Ukraine candidate status

The European Union agreed to put Ukraine on a path towards EU membership, acting with uncharacteristic speed and unity to pull the embattled country further away from Russia’s influence and bind it more closely to the West.

Meeting at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, leaders of the EU’s 27 nations mustered the required unanimous approval to grant Ukraine candidate status. That sets in motion a membership process that could take years – or even decades.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted his gratitude and declared: “Ukraine’s future is within the EU.”

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

Ukraine applied for membership less than a week after Moscow invaded on February 24. Thursday’s decision was unusually rapid for the EU and its go-slow approach to expansion. But the war and Ukraine’s request for fast-track consideration lent urgency to the country’s cause.

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