Dionis Cenușa: Moldova and Ukraine could be granted potential EU candidate status

Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova will undoubtedly be offered some kind of European perspective at the European Council Summit on 23 and 24 June. They must now fight for EU candidate status, but two states will likely be granted potential EU candidate status. There will be EU members that will impose additional conditions for the hopefuls to reach candidate status. If such conditions are imposed on Ukraine by countries such as Denmark, Moldova will likely face the same conditions as well. Whatever Ukraine obtains at the Summit will also affect the Republic of Moldova in relation to the European Union, stated Dionis Cenușa, political scientist, associate expert with the Lithuanian EESC think-tank and senior IPN columnist, during a debate on the subject.

Cenușa says that Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova started their respective processes of seeking EU membership for rather different reasons, because Ukraine was attacked by Russia, and the other two countries followed the trend. “This is a favorable trend for the region, we are talking about a ‘spring of applications’ for EU membership. It is a normal process, a process that provides development directions for these countries, for the political elites in these countries who want to embrace the European course and therefore the freedoms and values ​​associated with it. However, we are also talking about parallel processes that are taking place in the European Union. The European Commission is well aware of the stakes. The European Commission may have a much more positive, much more ambitious view than some political leaders, who are visiting the Republic of Moldova today (French President Emmanuel Macron visited Chisinau on Wednesday)”.

“However, apart from Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, there are other competitors for becoming EU members and which already have a European perspective, and the Republic of Moldova does not yet have it. These are potential candidate countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina or Kosovo, or are already candidate countries. We need to join this chorus of states with a European perspective, as a minimum goal, as a result of these demands. We are not talking about a whim, but about an urgency of the three states, but which the EU must realize based on the fact that we are talking more and more about the development of the third component of the EU, which is the military. In addition to political and economic union, the emphasis is on the development of its own army, the development of the concept of security, at all levels”, said the analyst.

He added that if Ukraine advances in terms of EU membership, Moldova has a chance to achieve the same status. “If Ukraine achieves a less important status in terms of EU membership, then Moldova is unlikely to get more. Opinions on Ukraine are divided. A representative of the Italian Government mentioned that there are large EU states that would have skeptical views towards Ukraine, without saying which. But obviously we’re talking about Germany and France. Representatives of German political elites mentioned the status of potential candidate when speaking about Ukraine. We only know about the public statements made President Macron, who has not categorically and firmly supported the scenario of Ukraine obtaining candidate status. We are talking about a second scenario, the status of a potential candidate country. In any case, Ukraine will be the first to receive a response or the greatest reverence from the Europeans, who are empathetic and supportive of Ukraine. From the discussions I had with representatives of the national governments, without giving names, my understanding is that Ukraine communicates very well on the diplomatic side with many European capitals and that they insist on prioritizing the Ukrainian file”, said Dionis Cenușa.

The debate dedicated to the upcoming European Council Summit was the 253rd installment of the “Political Culture” Series, run by IPN with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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