The European Commission will recommend granting Ukraine the official status of a candidate for EU membership, the Politico newspaper writes, citing sources familiar with the discussions held among the commissioners on June 13.
The European Commission should finally decide on June 17, and, as the newspaper writes, at least three countries are still against it. In addition to Ukraine, the issue of Moldova and Georgia, which also applied for candidate status, should also be resolved. But if Chisinau, “where a strongly pro-European government currently operates,” the commissioners are generally supportive, in Georgia, “which has suffered widespread political upheaval and a notable democratic backlash in recent years,” they are less confident, the article notes.
This has already caused discontent in Tbilisi. According to the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvilihis country has earned membership through its 30-year “struggle for democracy” and the government’s reforms over the past nine years, Agenda reports. He is also sure that Georgia “is ten times ahead of Ukraine and Moldova in all areas” and “requires a well-deserved status.”
Kyiv obviously did not like the reaction of Tbilisi, and the adviser to the head of the office Vladimir Zelensky Mikhail Podolyak immediately condemned the Georgian government for its position, including its refusal to join the anti-Russian sanctions. On his social network, he asked Garibashvili, Is “the number in the queue for candidacy” so important for Georgia?
The ambiguity of the situation with the status of Ukraine is becoming more and more obvious. Bloomberg Columnist Andreas Kluth believes that granting membership to Ukraine now could create “so many new problems for the EU that a bloc that has never been a model of good governance may fall apart or even fall apart.” However, the same, in his opinion, also applies to the admission of Moldova and Georgia, “and even Albania, North Macedonia and other Balkan countries already in line.” The observer believes that one should not rush into their membership, as their economies, judicial system and other institutions are not ready for this.
Similar doubts exist in Germany. The Tagesspiegel newspaper also draws attention to the fact that some European states have long been waiting for admission to the EU, while sympathy for Ukraine is not provided as a criterion for obtaining candidate status. “War is rather a reason for caution,” the author of the article believes.
In his opinion, it is necessary to encourage applicants to constructive competition and see which of them will move faster to join, and not let Ukraine go ahead.
The European Commission, apparently, is still aware of possible problems, so they hastened to refute the information that appeared in the press. According to the official representative of the EC Eric MamerSo far no decisions have been made in the EC.
“There was a general debate that allowed members of the EC colleague to exchange their views on this issue in order to prepare a decision scheduled for this Friday,” he said.
However, the official authorities of a number of countries do not hide the fact that they have no desire to see Ukraine in their ranks. Thus, the minister-delegate to the French Foreign Ministry for European Affairs Clement Beaune stated that before joining the European Union, hostilities should cease in Ukraine, and then it would be possible to discuss its membership “on good terms both for Ukraine and for the EU.”
“But Ukraine needs to give a positive signal as soon as possible and then start this long process,” he said.
Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa believes that the debate about the status of Ukraine will only sow discord among EU members. The authorities of Denmark, the Netherlands and other countries also have doubts.
Senior Research Fellow, Center for European Studies, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO RAS) Vladimir Olenchenko believes that now the EU is in a rather tense situation, which has developed due to different points of view on the foreign policy of the European Union.
— This situation divides its members. The European Union is an economic grouping. Such leading countries as Germany, France, Italy generate its economic basis. Under the leadership of the current European Commission, this group has become the political mouthpiece of an aggressive and one-sided policy.
The disunity in the European Union is taking place in several directions. Firstly, this fragmentation of countries: on the one hand, the leading ones, I named them above; on the other hand, there are small countries (the Baltic States, Poland), but which claim to determine the EU strategy, and this is not good. A separate vector is the activity of the European Commission.
She lives some kind of her own special life, not really looking back at the economic problems of the EU, at the relationship between countries, but being in some kind of frenzy of making decisions about confronting Russia. It is striking that these intentions of the EC practically coincide with the strategic guidelines that are generated in the United States. It is widely believed in Europe that Ursula von der LeyenI Josep Borrell take a pro-American position, and some even call them the pro-American lobby in the EU.
These vectors, or dividing lines, do exist. Now the EC is making it clear that it is going to recommend (it does not make the decision) to grant Ukraine candidate status. Even when considering the issue, it goes against common sense, because there are no economic or political grounds for this, but this idea is very captivating for the current American administration. They would like the EU to grant such a status to Ukraine in every possible way.
They have already tried something similar – this is how they granted membership to the Baltic countries, Poland, which actually became the conductors of American policy in the EU and which, in general, split it.
“SP”: – The economic situation in the EU is now difficult. Why burden yourself with a country where there are serious problems in the economy?
“Economically, this is also an unbearable burden for the EU. The population of Ukraine is more than 40 million, which is even more than Poland, which is the main consumer of the EU’s common finance. If Ukraine is added to it, then the European Union will simply not survive. be me there Olaf Scholz or Macronor ExpensiveI would say that “we’d better get out of this organization and not resignedly give our money to support, for example, Poland, Ukraine.”
“SP”: – Not everyone in Europe welcomes the prospect of seeing Ukraine in the ranks of the EU, and even out of turn. What causes the most dissatisfaction?
– Internationally, this causes bewilderment, to put it mildly. In retrospect, Ursula von der Leyen herself suggested to Zelensky that he apply, but she did not propose this to Georgia and Moldova. Those just started up and after that filed their applications. If they are now ignored, it will cause them deep resentment.
This is not the main problem the EU will face if the EC recommends granting membership status to Ukraine. The main one will be Turkey, which has been waiting for the status of candidate member for more than 10 years. Of course, this will be an insult to her, because in terms of economic development, political status in the world and other significant positions for the EU, Turkey is much higher, stronger and smarter than the current Ukrainian leadership.
Turkey will not let this go uncomplainingly. It is enough to see how harshly, unexpectedly for the Western community, it reacted to the intention of Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Even Stoltenberg should have admitted it. It is strange that neither von der Leyen nor Borrell take this into account, they are in some kind of state that I would characterize as intoxicated. If the EC makes such a recommendation, then it will be a move towards the collapse of the European Union, the aggravation of Ukraine’s relations with Turkey and other countries: the countries of the post-Soviet space, the Western Balkans and with the leading EU countries.
I share the opinion of Bloomberg that this is a vicious and fatal path in which the EC is moving. I don’t remember if there is a mechanism for terminating the powers of the EC in the EU, but in the place of Germany, France, Italy, I would instruct lawyers to look for such an opportunity for the current composition of the EC, because it acts destructive. Not only is it incompetent, but also completely does not follow current EU requests. It acts from its own, or rather American requests.
“SP”: – If Ukraine is still recommended, what steps can the “offended” countries take?
– Depends on the leader. Let’s say Erdoganhe is a strong leader, he can take some steps to, for example, increase duties in trade with the EU. I think his reaction will be indignant. The Western Balkan countries are small, and the leaders there are hardly capable of expressing dissatisfaction. As for Georgia and Moldova, then, of course, for them it will be a political slap in the face, and then, of course, they will have questions. In their place, I would raise the question of some kind of compensation.
The thing is, it’s not just a request. Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia are the countries that were invited by the European Union to the so-called Eastern Partnership, launched in 2009 and which assumed the association as the first step towards membership. These countries have carried out the harmonization of law and much more in order to fulfill the requirements of the EU. If now they are left on the sidelines, of course, this is a slap in the face, and one can really raise the question of canceling the Eastern Partnership program.