After the Trio summit held in the Georgian Black Sea city of Batumi ended on July 19, the electronic platform euractiv.com reported that Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova called on the EU to acknowledge their perspective to become full EU members one day, while the summit declaration signed by the Presidents of the three countries is a further step in the emancipation of the three associated members of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), IPN reports.
The source noted that in his speech, European Council President Charles Michel saluted the Trio summit as “an important milestone”.
“We welcome the Trio’s initiative to foster coordination between the associated partners and with Brussels. This can lead to the sharing of best practices on reforms, on implementation, and on broader agenda for the future,” said Michel, noting that up to now, the EU was wary of endorsing an initiative which did not come from Brussels. But the EU now no longer avoids using the “Trio” expression, despite ongoing tensions in Georgia and Ukraine where Michel acts as a mediator.
Regarding the upcoming EaP summit in December in Brussels, he said the EU would remain a strong and reliable partner for the region, but that it counts on the countries’ commitment to advance reforms – “not to please Brussels, but in the interest of your own people and your own societies”. Michel reminded that when the COVID-19 pandemic struck Europe, the EU reacted to the needs of the six EaP partners and together with the EIB, mobilized €2.5 billion to support them in tackling the health crisis and recover from the economic recession. He said the EaP should be a launchpad for greater cooperation in all these areas, and serve as a catalyst for democracy, good governance and the rule of law.
In another development, euractiv.com sys Moldova’s President Maia Sandu impressed the audience with her modesty. She arrived with a small delegation and spoke briefly at the conference, without removing her mask.
Ukraine’s Zelenskiy was the only leader who spoke in his native language. He focused on the Russian aggression against his country and on his visit to the delimitation line in Abkhazia. “If Brussels and the EU do not show iron support for the European aspirations of our three countries, then someone will show the iron muscles of their weapons near our three state borders. And this, in my opinion, is a threat not only to our three countries, but also to the entire continent,” Zelenskiy said.