Ukrainians, Moldovans and Georgians deserve to live in “free, democratic and prosperous” countries that are “proud and committed members” of the European family, a resolution approved by the European Parliament said on Thursday.
With 529 votes in favour to 45 against and 14 abstentions, the resolution called on the heads of European states - set to hold a summit on Thursday and Friday - to grant European Union membership candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova “without delay”, and do the same for Georgia once the Government delivers on the priorities indicated by the European Commission.
The resolution urged the European Council to take an important “first step” towards fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the citizens of these three countries by approving the recommendations issued by the European Commission last week.
In the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the move would be equal to “showing leadership, resolve and vision”, MEPs who initiated the resolution said, while insisting there was no “fast-track” path for EU membership and that accession remained a merit-based and structured process, which required membership criteria to be fulfilled and was dependent on the effective implementation of reforms.
The European Parliament also invited the authorities of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to “unambiguously demonstrate their political determination to implement the European ambitions of their people”, accelerating reforms in order to effectively fulfil the criteria for EU membership as soon as possible.
The resolution stressed there was “no alternative” to enlargement, which it called “more than ever a geostrategic investment” in a “stable, strong and united” EU.
Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia applied for EU membership in the wake of the Russian attack against the former in late February. On June 17, the Commission published opinions on the three applications, recommending that the Council grant Ukraine and Moldova the candidate status and grant Georgia “European perspective” with a set of criteria before the candidate status for the country is considered.