French President Emmanuel Macron has said while “Moldova should not be dissociated from Ukraine in the prospects we give” in their quest to achieve EU candidate status, Georgia, along with Armenia and Azerbaijan, is not placed in the same geopolitical situation.
“Then there is our category of countries that are part of the Eastern Partnership, but whose security, geopolitical situation is different. Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, are very close friendly nations, but if you see it well both geopolitically and geographically, they are not today placed in the same situation.”
President Macron’s remarks came at the joint press conference alongside his Moldovan counterpart Maia Sandu in Chishinau yesterday, responding to a reporter’s query whether his mention of a “positive signal” meant he wanted to see Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine officially getting EU candidate status.
Statement by the French President, currently presiding over the EU council that makes the final decision on candidacies, marks a major blow for consecutive Georgian Governments, that for decades tried to disassociate the western-aspiring nation from the South Caucasian basket. Last year, Georgia pushed for the Association Trio format together with Moldova and Ukraine, seeking closer ties with Brussels.
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“There are also the discussions that we have with the Western Balkans, some of which have already started procedures to obtain this status,” Macron continued moving on to the Balkans.
He said, “we have an immense amount of work to complete in the next few days, particularly in the discussion between Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia, and we are going to do everything we can to try to resolve this dispute, which will allow this country, already having the candidate status, to move on to a new stage.”
“And I hope that we can make progress on Albania and Northern Macedonia. It is a geopolitical balance that must be maintained,” the French President underlined.
He further noted that the enlargement of the European Union “cannot be the only answer to the stability of our neighbors.”
“First, because it is rightly a demanding process. Because we must also continue simplifying our Europe to make it more efficient, and we must also have an urgent movement to integrate the European Union, to simplify our voting and procedural rules.”
Georgia and Moldova applied to the EU membership on March 3, following the footsteps of Kyiv in the aftermath of Russia’s all-out invasion against Ukraine on February 24.
The European Commission is expected to deliver its opinion on the EU candidacy of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia on June 17. The Council is then expected to make a final decision on each country on June 23-24.