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Thursday, 19 April 2018


Tbilisi should stop knocking: EU’s doors are shut

2010-10-26 12:17

9244.jpegBad news for Georgia: the European Union excludes the possibility of embracing new members at least until 2020. It primarily refers to former Soviet republics. Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Armenia - also denied EU membership in foreseeable future - share the sad piece of news with Georgia.

The mass media report on a letter signed by Polish and Swedish FMs Radoslav Sikorsky and Carl Bildt and addressed to EU's diplomatic head Catherine Ashton and EU commissioner for enlargement Stefan Fulle stating that the EU's admission of Eastern neighbors should not be expected in the next ten years.


The joint letter was a reply to the questionnaire prepared by the European Commission in July 2010 in order to evaluate efficiency of the European Neighborhood Policy.

In essence, this is the EU's concept of relationships with Eastern neighbors for the foreseeable future to be legalized today, on October 25, at a session of the EU Foreign Ministers' council.

As it is customary in European diplomacy, the countries that were offered almost eternal EU neighborhood have been given a recognition prize. Swedish and Polish ministers remark in their letter that the EU must ensure "a prospect of increase" for 6 Eastern neighbors. They point out that to obtain EU membership the six countries must adopt European rules and create legislation that complies with European laws as well as make their way to a free trade zone, introduction of visa-free regime and take part in other European projects (cooperation in military, law-enforcement and migration spheres).

In view of the "prospects of increase" the ministers suggest holding a summit scheduled for May 26 in Budapest for Eastern Partnership member states in order to outline a special program for the neighbors.

Ironically, the authors of the restriction concept come from the countries that usually favor "new democracies", Georgia, in particular. In reality there has been no significant change in the EU's policy. In June 2003 the Concept of Enlarged Europe was officially adopted determining the European Union's geographical borders. It appears from the concept that no further expansion is planned. It's just that after 2003 a whole lot of bright events took place including Georgia's rose revolution. New leaders were building their careers making statements on the country's inevitable accession into United Europe in the nearest future. The time for political publicity of various leaders is up, and frightened European officials had to put a full stop on the EU expansion issue once again. Nonetheless, there is good news for Georgia. The EU selects six states where development of Eastern Partnership will be particularly active. Only post-Soviet republics are among them and Turkey is not on the list. However, the proposal to remain Europe's periphery forever must not please Georgia as well as two other Transcaucasian states so much. This partnership turns them into a buffer zone between successful West and dangerous East. The mission of the Caucasian states in this case is this: to hamper migration flows, drug traffic, international crime at the approaches to Europe. This does not look like a very honorary job. Official Tbilisi has long abandoned illusions on the country's prompt admission into EU. Still, as politologist Ramaz Sakvarelidze claims, Tbilisi's European vector will hardly change with the EU's adoption of "closed-doors policy".

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