The European Council has formally given the green light to the granting of candidate countries for EU membership to Ukraine and Moldova, on the basis of the Commission’s recommendations. Green light also to the “European perspective” for Georgia. “Today is a good day for Europe. Congratulations to President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Maia Sandu and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. Your countries are part of our European family. And today’s historic decision by the leaders confirms this,” he writes. in a tweet the president of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky connected live to the European Council room in Brussels after the positive vote for candidate status. “It is a unique and historic moment”, commented the Ukrainian president.
The EU’s yes to the candidacy of Ukraine and Moldova and to a European perspective for Georgia – French President Emmanuel Macron said – “is a very strong signal“to Russia, it is an” important fact in the context of the war. “” We see a phenomenon of fatigue in some countries for enlargement, because the path is long and hard. It will take a long time, let’s be honest. Instead we have to work faster to stabilize our neighborhood “, Macron said again speaking of his proposal for a European political community.” At our border we have Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom and we cannot leave a geopolitical vacuum “, he precised.
“It is a historic moment that allows us to define the perimeter of the EU”, said the president of the EU Council Charles Michel at a press conference talking about the decision of the 27 leaders on Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. “It is a strong message of political determination. We also found an agreement on how bring support to Ukraineat a financial and military level and we have confirmed our determination to counter the consequences of the Russian aggression in terms of food and energy as well “, he added.
“Russia – reads the conclusions approved by the European Council – using food as a weapon in its war against Ukraine, is solely responsible for the global food security crisis it has caused. The European Council urges Russia to stop immediately to target agricultural facilities and to unblock the Black Sea, in particular the port of Odessa, so as to allow grain exports and commercial shipping operations. The European Council supports the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General to for this purpose “.
In Brussels, the case of the Western Balkans breaks out: no tangible result, for them, from the summit with the 27 leaders due to the crossed vetoes.
THE BALKAN QUESTION
The question is convoluted. Albania and North Macedonia, after years of reforms, are unable to obtain the opening of accession negotiations due to the blockade of Bulgaria, which blocks the way to Skopje for reasons of identity. The pro-Western premier Kiril Petkov arrived in Brussels officially disheartened by Parliament, with a political crisis in maximum explosion, in part precisely for having tried to untie the problem. France has attempted mediation, with a plan currently being examined by deputies during an extraordinary session, which however also provides for constitutional changes for North Macedonia. “The French proposal in this form is unacceptable to us,” Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski thundered at a press conference. To complicate matters, the polls in Bulgaria: if we go to new elections, the populist and pro-Russian parties risk winning many votes. So you have to move delicately. Exactly the opposite of the Albanian premier, Edi Rama. That he shot chained balls. “It is a shame that a NATO country, Bulgaria, holds two other NATO countries hostage, North Macedonia and Albania, in the midst of a war in our backyard and that another 26 EU members remain stationary and powerless “. The problem is always unanimity. And in fact Borrell, dark-faced, reiterated the obvious: “We have to go further, we cannot continue to accept that one member blocks everything”. But that’s the way it is for now. If this is the sharpest obstacle, there are other obstacles. Visa liberalization for Kosovo, for example. Or the granting of candidate country status to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here, on this point, a battle between Slovenia and Austria has taken place to ask European leaders for more courage and therefore there could be the ploy to equate it with Georgia, which has been assured a “European perspective” conditioned by certain reforms. The discussion, if anything, is how, how much and in what form to invest in the future. “There is a strong political will to revitalize the process with the Western Balkans, to send a very clear and strong message,” assured Prime Minister Charles Michel. Very good. So let’s record it in the conclusions of the summit, some Member States are proposing. Moreover, the issue is solidified with the proposal put forward by Emmanuel Macron to create a “European political community” which is not an alternative to the enlargement process but which can fully accommodate the whole European spirit. Maybe even keeping the United Kingdom in it. The proposal receives the applause of Serbian President Aleksander Vucic (whose ears have been pulled anyway for the lack of alignment with the sanctions against Russia). “It would be the only way for the Balkans to be heard and, at the same time, to confront the EU”, he explained. But it is the beginning of a long journey, this summit will decide nothing. For the Union, geopolitics remains a journey in stages, not without obstacles. In the meantime, however, a piece of history has been made.