Discussion paper were written by Leonid Litra, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of World Policy (Ukraine, Moldova) and Ivane Chkhikvadze, European Union Integration Program Manager, Open Society Foundation (Georgia).To download the full publication click here.
The European Union is struggling to overcome many crises in testing times. Financial crises, unemployment problems, and refugee and migration issues have changed the vision of the EU and on the EU. Despite the problems that the EU is witnessing today, the attractiveness of the EU project is still vibrating on its eastern flank. Associated countries such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are making, albeit inconsistently, a case for their rapprochement with the EU beyond the current framework, heading, above all, for membership.
This paper is not questioning the right of the three countries to apply for EU membership. Rather, it is assumed that the legal recognition of the membership perspective for the three countries is prescribed in article 49 of the Treaty on EU. However, there is no consolidated EU political support for such a step and the interpretation of article 49 differs from one state to another. Therefore, despite the problems inside the EU, the question of EU membership from the perspective of AA states is not if but when it will happen.