Charles Michel: EU and accession candidates must be ready for enlargement by 2030
Michel: EU enlargement by 2030
“The European Union and its candidate countries must be ready for enlargement by 2030,” European Council President Charles Michel said during a speech on 28 August at a strategy forum in the Slovenian town of Bled.
“To be stronger and safer, the European Union must strengthen ties and become stronger. Therefore, now is the time to address the issue of EU enlargement and future members. Yes, I am sure that is what we should call countries with a proven European perspective. It is time to avoid ambiguity, to face the challenges clearly and honestly.
The Kremlin is attacking not only our free and sovereign neighbours, but everything we believe in: freedom, democracy, progress and a spirit of co-operation.
Last June, we decided to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, and to grant the same status to Georgia when it takes the necessary steps.
The slow pace of the EU path has disappointed many, both in the region and in the European Union. Now enlargement is no longer a dream, it is time to move forward. There is a lot of work to do and it will be difficult and sometimes painful for future EU and EU members, but let’s be clear: we need to talk about the timing and the “homework” we have to do.
When we prepare for the future EU agenda, we must set ourselves a clear goal: we, both sides, must be ready for enlargement by 2030,” Michel said.
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Prior to the meeting, the Financial Times reported that today, 28 August, European Council President Charles Michel will say that the EU should be ready to accept new members by 2030.
The leaders of the EU candidate countries Moldova, Albania, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are attending the strategic forum. The delegations of Georgia and Turkey are not present at the meeting.
It is reported that the leaders of the EU member states will hold the first discussion on the bloc’s enlargement in early October 2023 in Granada, Spain.
“If we have not earned the status, we should not make noise, but work to get it”
Nika Gvaramia, former director of “Mtavari” TV company: “We should not make noise and complain. First Scholz said, today Michel said the same thing: the EU enlargement phase will be over by 2030. So even if we don’t get the status this year (and I am sure we won’t because of the actions of the ruling party), no window of opportunity will close.
“Georgian Dream” and its government will be out, and the new government that will elect a new parliament in 2024 will bring Georgia into the European Union.
I do not think that statements like “give Georgia status anyway” are justified. This is not serious, counterproductive and irresponsible. And this approach is extremely irritating and often even insulting to our partners. Let’s not try to “milk” the EU, let’s get down to business and remove the wall hindering us on our way to the West in 2024 [at the parliamentary elections – JAMnews].
As Aristotle said, in the Olympic (ancient Greek) games, it is not the most beautiful and the most intelligent who wins, but the one who fought the hardest and competed the best. Everything will be fine, I have no doubt”.
“The statement was made because people in Georgia deserve it”
Elene Khoshtaria, Droa party: “Michel made this statement because people in Georgia deserve it. There is a chance, and in order for it to be realised, conditions must be fulfilled. We have a historical responsibility to realise this chance”.
“There is no war in Moldova and they also have a region invaded by Russia. And Moldova can join the EU, but we can’t”
Shota Digmelashvili, civil activist: “The European Union is expanding with eight countries. The list includes the Balkan countries, Ukraine and Moldova. There are 10 official applicants, so most likely Turkey and Georgia are not among the 8.
This doubt is confirmed by the fact that everyone was invited to the conference, including Kosovo, whose independence the EU does not even recognise. Only Turkey and Georgia were not invited. So it is clear who is in the eight and who is not.
There is no war in Moldova and they also have a region invaded by Russia. And if Moldova joins the EU and we don’t, we will have to say “thank you” to Bidzina [Ivanishvili] for destroying a unique historical chance for Georgia.
However, other political forces should also realize their responsibility.”