According to Rikard Jozwiak, Europe editor for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the European Commission’s recommendation to grant Georgia candidate status with nine conditions “probably means” that Tbilisi will receive the status in December regardless of how much progress it makes on reforms and “fulfilling the conditions will be more about moving to the next stage: starting accession talks.”
In his brief, Jozwiak notes that Georgia has fallen behind in fulfilling the conditions, having met only three of the 12 conditions set for the country in June 2022. Meanwhile, Ukraine and Moldova have respectively fulfilled four out of seven and six out of nine conditions, respectively, which the EC considers “90 percent of what was required of them.” However, Georgia has been given the green light to move forward on its EU path because, as Jozwiak notes, some EU diplomats believe that “more than anything the [EC] reports reflect the political enlargement momentum that exists in the EU right now”.
Jozwiak emphasizes that all EU member states are likely to grant Tbilisi candidate status, with the outstanding conditions and new additional conditions still to be met in order to begin accession talks. He notes: “…it’s not clear when that might be. Normally, there would be a new enlargement report in the fall of 2024, offering assessments and policy recommendations; but given that there might not be a European Commission in place by then, the report might have to wait.”
- 06/11/2023 – Jozwiak: Georgia’s Candidate Status Likely to be Conditional
- 06/09/2023 – Jozwiak: EUHR Borrell’s Visit “the Last Attempt”
- 26/06/2023 – Expert: Budapest May Block Ukraine EU Negotiations, Unless Georgia Given Candidacy