In a richer Western Europe, many prefer to deepen EU integration, spending more on their citizens rather than admitting new members.
Giving candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova at the EU summit in Brussels on June 23-24 is the main issue on the agenda.
The 27-nation bloc should support the move, and no opposition is expected at the summit. Georgia will be told that it can be given candidate status after certain conditions are met.
Kyiv has officially applied for EU membership after Russia launched an attack on Ukraine in late February. After that, Moldova and Georgia took a similar step.
The European Commission last week recommended that Ukraine and Moldova be given candidate status. RFE / RL correspondent Rocard Jozviak writes that Ukraine and Moldova are expected to receive candidate status on the evening of June 23, but that some conditions must be met in order to make further progress on the path to membership.
To whom disappointment…
However, the Western Balkans, which want to join the EU, will be disappointed by the summit. The leaders of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Serbia will attend the summit in Brussels. Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia and Turkey are official candidates for the EU. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidates.
Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama He tweeted that if the outcome of the meeting was ‘sorry, no’, was it worth going to the summit? But then he said he would go to Brussels confirmed.
There is a chance that Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria will resolve their differences before or during the summit and give the green light to EU membership talks. However, Bosnia-Herzegovina will not receive candidate status, as most EU members believe that it has not reformed enough in recent years.
A large part of the summit will be dedicated to Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, both in Brussels and abroad, there are opinions that the bloc’s new ideas are exhausted. Kiev will be called upon to increase military support and provide 9 billion euros ($ 9.5 billion) in financial assistance to Ukraine.
The EU will not help
Ricard Jozviak writes that the trio of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia will face threats from the Kremlin, regardless of their status on paper. In Ukraine, it has become a matter of life and death, both for the country and its citizens.
There is no guarantee that Georgia and Moldova will not face the same fate.
“But what is clear is that even if they have fresh candidate status, the EU will not run to save them if Moscow decides to intervene further. Yes, financial and military aid will be provided, sanctions will be imposed on Russia, but EU citizens will not die for the EU’s dream of this trio. In fact, EU citizens may soon be fed up with rising inflation and rising food and energy prices. Moscow is ruthlessly relying on it. They may be right, winter is still ahead. ” – says the article.
On the other hand, joining the bloc could take years, even decades. These three countries are poorer than the Western Balkans. All of them are fighting corruption, shortcomings in the judiciary, frozen conflicts.
The EU itself is not so prone to expansion. This is one of the main reasons why it did not accept new members after Croatia in 2013.
In a richer Western Europe, many prefer to deepen EU integration, spending more money on their citizens rather than admitting new members.
However, the author writes that the decisions on Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are important for the EU itself.
“The most important foreign policy tool in Brussels was to provide light at the end of the tunnel. “The prospect of joining us in the EU one day was enough to motivate forward-looking Europeans in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova (why not in Turkey and Russia !?) to make the necessary reforms and become part of the biggest peace project.” The author notes that Brussels has finally woken up and seen people fighting and dying for the ideals they hold dear.