Ukraine should be given MEPs in parliament before it formally joins the EU, EP President Roberta Metsola has said. (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)


EU should let Ukraine install ‘observer’ MEPs ahead of joining bloc, says Metsola


Ukraine should be allowed to have MEPs in the European Parliament before it formally joins the European Union, Parliament President Roberta Metsola has said.

The EPP politician also suggested that the same offer should be extended to all EU candidate countries once they have signed a formal accession treaty with the bloc.

“Make no mistake: Politically if a country looks to Europe, then Europe should fling its doors wide open,” Metsola said in an interview on October 25.

“Enlargement has always been the European Union’s strongest geopolitical tool,” she added.

Such MEPs would be present in an “observer” status, meaning they would not have the right to vote in Parliament.

They would be allowed to take part in the various parliamentary committees.

Including Ukraine, there are eight countries formally listed as candidates for joining the EU, with a further two – Kosovo and Georgia – being described as “potential candidates”.

With Metsola wanting to enable all countries that formally agree to join the bloc to have “observer” MEPs installed, questions remain regarding who is going to pay for such ceremonial members.

Fully fledged MEPs in the current Parliament receive a pre-tax salary of nearly €10,000 a month, with each member also being given significant office and travel budgets.

Metsola did not mention during the interview if she expected observer MEPs to receive similar remuneration, or whether she believed the EU to fund such payments.

Brussels Signal has contacted her office by email for clarification regarding her suggestions.