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The Netherlands Cabinet “Cautious” About Granting Georgia Candidacy

In a recent document on the EU Commission Enlargement Package addressed to the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch government expresses its caution about endorsing the European Commission’s recommendation to grant Georgia candidate status for EU accession “given the limited progress on most of the twelve priorities set out by the Commission”. This is one of the first documents that the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Dutch Parliament will consider in its new composition with a majority of the Party for Freedom (PVV).

The document says that the cabinet acknowledges the European Commission’s geopolitical considerations against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, however stresses the importance of a merit-based approach to the enlargement process.

The Dutch cabinet highlights that the act of granting candidate status to Georgia has no legal, financial or operational consequences. Rather, says the document “it can be seen as a clear signal from the Council addressed first and foremost to the Georgian people.”

The Dutch government says that the relationship with Georgia should be further intensified, partly for the sake of regional stability. While noting that a majority of member states seem to be in favor of granting candidate status to Georgia, “negotiations with Georgia can only start when there is sustainable progress on the steps identified by the Commission. There are no short cuts to this.”

While Georgia is treated with caution because of its perceived limited progress, the cabinet takes a positive view of the Commission’s recommendation to open accession negotiations with Moldova and Ukraine.

With regard to these two states, the document states that the European Commission’s proposal is measured and balanced and that the Cabinet has a positive basic attitude towards the Commission’s recommendation to open accession negotiations with Moldova and Ukraine. The document notes that both Moldova and Ukraine have completed most of the steps set by the Commission and that the Cabinet supports the additional steps identified by the Commission before a negotiating framework can be adopted.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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