Helsinki, Oct 24 (IANS) European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday she will ask the UK to suggest a British member for the Commission, if Brexit is delayed.
“If the UK is still then in the EU, I will ask them to send a commissioner,” Xinhua quoted Von der Leyen as saying at a joint press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne here.
Von der Leyen and Rinne both underlined the importance of the EU widening towards the West Balkans despite recent setbacks.
Rinne said that he hopes “unanimity could be reached next spring” so that talks with Albania and North Macedonia could begin. Von der Leyen was more cautious and said she hopes that “in due time” there will be the possibility to open accession talks. She said that it is in the interest of the Western Balkans as well as in the interest of the EU.
Von der Leyen endorsed the continued requirement of EU unanimity on accepting new members.
“There is a good reason for requiring unanimity as accession talks will have a lot of consequences and the union enlargement,” she said.
Both Rinne and Von der Leyen said that majority decisions should be made possible on some issues, such as foreign policy, where a European stand is required fast.