The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union has tweeted that Coreper II – composed of heads of member state missions — has greenlighted the Commission to present an opinion on each of the membership applications sent by Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.
It noted about the launch of a written procedure for the Council to validate draft letters seeking the opinion of the Commission.
Carrying an important symbolic weight, the technical step marks the first move on complex, years-long path to EU membership.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili welcomed the decision on Twitter: “This new chapter in our relations motivates us to accelerate our reform agenda. We are grateful for this important decision.”
Georgia and Moldova submitted formal applications to join the 27-member-bloc on March 3. The expedited moves followed the suit of Ukraine, that is fighting Russian armed attack since February 24.
Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova are EU-associated countries, that are part of the bloc’s Eastern Partnership initiative. The three countries established the Associated Trio format in May 2021, seeking closer relations to Brussels.
The Georgian authorities originally planned to submit membership bid in 2024.