VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says that it is the European Union's interest to take on new members.
"First of all, we have to say that it is in the EU's own interest to invite the Eastern Partnership countries (and) the Western Balkans," Nauseda said in a video comment released by his office on Tuesday.
"We will create a much bigger area, where there will be economic prosperity and respect for human rights," the president said. "This will be the most important factor of stability in this unstable world."
"If we adhere to this postulate, all other issues are solvable," he added.
Nauseda was speaking after an informal meeting in Berlin with the leaders of the European Council, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Cyprus, Austria and Hungary.
Last week, the European Commission recommended that the EU start accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, and grant candidate status to Georgia.
However, Bosnia and Herzegovina failed to win clear backing for opening membership talks.
The Lithuanian president said that at the meeting in Berlin, he stressed the importance for the EU to maintain the principle of unanimity on key issues when expanding.
"This is an opportunity for small nations to come to the table on an equal footing with the big ones," he said.
However, major member states want the EU to abandon the current veto power on security and foreign policy issues and move toward qualified majority voting.