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Wednesday, July 26
European Parliament Members on Georgia’s EU Membership Perspective

The Parliaments of three Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries - Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - released a joint statement on July 3, calling on the European Parliament to adopt a Resolution prior to the EaP Summit reaffirming its appeal to the European Council to opening the perspective of EU membership to the three Associated Countries. reached out to some of the senior MEPs on the matter, asking them to comment on the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels in November, and the Summit expectations of Eastern partners.

Five MEPs responded to the query, including two from the European People’s Party and one member from each of the following political groups: the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group and the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance.

David McAllister, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), Germany

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has received the Joint statement of the Parliaments of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine of July 3, 2017. We have taken note of their call on the European Parliament as regards the suggested resolution and the issue of EU membership perspective. We have also noted the emphasis on our common values, on the EU’s support to our partner’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and on the importance of the implementation of the Association Agreements – which the European Parliament is keen to highlight at every available opportunity.

In the run up to the Eastern Partnership Summit scheduled for November 2017, the Foreign Affairs Committee will draw up a report to be adopted by the European Parliament and containing recommendations to the Council, Commission and the External Action Service (EEAS). The content of this upcoming resolution – including the issue of membership perspective – will be the subject of debates in the Foreign Affairs Committee in September and October 2017.

Gunnar Hokmark, Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), Sweden

The perspective of EU membership is a central component of the Neighborhood policy and the Eastern Partnership.

Every European nation has this perspective and it is important for stability and the strengthening of democracy. Even if there may be different opinions of when a country can become an EU member, this is an important foundation of the European project.

Urmas Paet, Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Estonia

The EU has been going through turbulent times in recent years. We have faced many crises such as the refugee crisis, Brexit, and terrorist attacks. Even though there is a strong focus on finding a solution to all these problems, we cannot forget our Eastern neighborhood and its efforts to further integrate with the EU. In this regard I am content that the EU finally approved visa-free travel for Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. It is a step forward in tightening relations and also an important moral message of support.

As the Estonian foreign minister from 2005 until 2014 and now as a member of the European Parliament, I strongly support the further political association and economic integration of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova with the EU and the implementation of association agreements. There are also many opportunities to further develop relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

A clear perspective for EU membership is very important. Every European country which has fulfilled the necessary criteria may apply for EU membership.

One of Estonia’s priorities during its presidency of the Council of the EU is the Eastern Partnership. The objectives of the Eastern Partnership Summit should be ambitious and practical, reconfirming the EU’s continued support for Eastern Partners. Attention should be put on sustainable public sector reforms, the development of transport and energy connections, digital society, entrepreneurship and civil society as well as people-to-people contacts. It is also clear that the EU continuously needs to focus on conflict resolution in the neighborhood.

Anna Elzbieta Fotyga, European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Poland

Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova have all signed Association Agreements (including DCFTA) with the EU and received a visa-free regime with the Schengen countries. These deliverables keep the populations of these countries hopeful that their countries will receive further benefits from EU integration.

Countries that will continuously pursue a reform agenda and stronger economic growth must also receive more integration mechanisms from the EU in order to keep these processes alive and create more leverages for reform and further democratization. The upcoming EaP Summit in November will be the best opportunity to lay out the strategic goals of EU-EaP relations. (