June summit: member states need to show more ambition to strengthen the EU 

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EU leaders must strengthen the Union by expanding and deepening it, most speakers agreed. © European Union 2022  

MEPs welcomed the decision to open the EU’s doors to Ukraine and Moldova, but asked leaders to strengthen the EU, and tackle the latest crisis.

MEPs discussed the conclusions of 23-24 June European Council summit with President Charles Michel and Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič. Almost all speakers welcomed the decision to commence the accession process for Ukraine and Moldova, as Parliament had already asked. Many MEPs underlined that the road to accession is going to be long and will require many reforms for Ukraine and Moldova. They stresses that the EU should find other ways to support the countries in the meantime, including with military equipment, some argued.

Numerous speakers referred to the need to treat Western Balkan countries fairly and unblock their accession, as Parliament has already repeatedly asked in the past. Regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe and Parliament’s call for a Convention to revise the EU Treaties, many MEPs criticised the lack of ambition shown by the Council in this regard, highlighting that the need to reform the EU and the way it works is urgent. Citizens must not be let down and their expectations must be fulfilled, they insisted.

Many MEPs pointed to the need for more coordinated action to tackle the interconnected problems of skyrocketing energy prices, gas shortages caused by the Russian war against Ukraine, rising inflation, and the impact of this on households - with several across political groups asking for a cap on gas prices. Other topics raised were the need to reform the EU’s migration and asylum system, accession of more EU countries to the Schengen area, and Turkey’s aggression towards its EU neighbours.

You can watch extracts from the debate here, the first round of MEPs’ interventions here, and the full debate here.