A special clause in the countries’ accession treaties to the European Union can ensure that they cannot block other applicants immediately after entry.
“Ideally, they would all join together, but still the future countries in the bloc are at different stages and it must be ensured that they do not block each other in the course of negotiations if one becomes part of the union and others do not”, Michel said in his speech in Bled.
“One way could be to add a so-called ‘confidence clause’ in accession treaties to ensure that countries that have just joined cannot block the accession of future member states,” Michel said.
Grading, on the other hand, can be expressed, for example, in step-by-step and progressive integration in specific areas such as the single market – introduction of candidates in specific elements of European cooperation, energy or transport communities.
Another area for gradual integration may be in security and defense. “We could invite interested future member states to participate more actively in some policies or instruments, such as Common Security and Defense Policy missions, our defense fund or the European Peace Support Mechanism,” said Michel, who agreed with the fundamental need for internal reform in the EU as well – not as barriers to accession, but as a means of increasing the effectiveness of the EU.