A majority of EU citizens, at 58%, believe the European Union should accept new members faster, according to a survey from the European Parliament published on Wednesday, transmits MIA.
The findings come ahead of a key EU leaders’ summit in Brussels later this week to consider designating Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status after a recent European Commission recommendation EU leaders are considering the highly symbolic move in solidarity with Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
However, EU accession is a politically protracted and legally complex process. Slovakia, for example, received candidate status in 1999 and became an EU member in 2004.
Turkey was granted candidate status in the same year, but is still not a member country. In a further example, North Macedonia has been a candidate for EU membership for 17 years and in July 2020, the commission gave the green light in principle for accession negotiations.
However, EU member state Bulgaria is blocking the process in a row over the written history of the two countries and the rights of the Bulgarian minority in North Macedonia. A majority of EU citizens also believe that the Ukraine war will soon affect their lives or is already having an impact on their standard of living. Some 40% of respondents said their standard of living has already deteriorated or will deteriorate further in the coming year because of the war.
The survey also found that a majority of EU citizens again rate EU membership as positive, with almost two-thirds considering it a good thing, the highest value since 2007. Around 27,000 people were interviewed for the Eurobarometer survey in April and May.