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Geostrategic Europe

Stories related to European foreign policy and Europe as a global power.

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Brussels sources say European Commission will recommend candidate status for Ukraine, but final decision is with the EU member states

Brussels sources say European Commission will recommend candidate status for Ukraine, but final decision is with the EU member states

The European Commission will recommend granting Ukraine official status as an EU candidate country, according to several officials familiar with deliberations that took place during a debate among commissioners on Monday. This was reported by the authoritative website Politico on Tuesday (14 June) The debate in the College of Commissioners followed a surprise visit Saturday by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Kyiv, where she discussed Ukraine’s membership bid with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It was von der Leyen’s second trip to the Ukrainian capital since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in late February. Moldova and Georgia have also applied for candidate status, and officials said that commissioners were generally supportive of Moldova, where a staunchly pro-EU government is now in place, but that they were less confident about Georgia, which has suffered from pervasive political turmoil and notable democratic backsliding in recent years.
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Von der Leyen says Russia is the most  direct threat to the international order

Von der Leyen says Russia is the most direct threat to the international order

Russia “is today the most direct threat to the world order with the barbaric war against Ukraine, and its worrying pact with China”, European Commission President, Urusula von der Leyen, said in Tokyo on Thursday (12 May) after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida along with European Council President Charles Michel. The two are in Tokyo for an annual EU-Japan summit that comes with much of the international community rallying to pressure Moscow over the Ukraine war, with concern also growing about China’s role. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not just a matter for Europe, but it shakes the core of the international order including Asia. This must not be tolerated,” said Kishida, whose government has joined tough sanctions on Moscow, including on energy. “Our cooperation in Ukraine is critical in Europe, but it’s also important in the Indo-Pacific and we also want to deepen our consultation on a more assertive China,” said Michel.

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Commentary
Commentary: The EU reinforces its position in the South Caucasus before the upcoming EaP Summit

Commentary: The EU reinforces its position in the South Caucasus before the upcoming EaP Summit

In preparation for its Eastern Partnership Summit (EaP) in December, and after drastic regional shifts, the EU is trying hard to improve its position in the South Caucasus. In this commentary for commonspace.eu, Mahammad Mammadov unpacks the EU's strategy in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, looking at what can be gleaned from its recent high-profile visits to the region and billions in newly declared financial assistance.
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Charles Michel in Armenia at the start of a regional tour

Charles Michel in Armenia at the start of a regional tour

The European Council president, Charles Michel, has began a regional tour of the South Caucasus aimed at re-enforcing the EU's relations with the region. On Saturday, Michel arrived in Armenia where he had a meeting with prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and afterwards addressed a press conference. Michel told journalists that the EU has the ambition to have a loyal, engaged and active relationship with the region that would contribute for its stability, prosperity and security.
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Opinion
Opinion: The South Caucasus needs more EU, less Russia, and a better life for all the people of the region

Opinion: The South Caucasus needs more EU, less Russia, and a better life for all the people of the region

The European Union has indicated it is re-enforcing its engagement with the South Caucasus, including on the thorny issues of conflict resolution. Dennis Sammut argues in this op-ed that this is timely and necessary. The region needs more EU, less Russia and prospects for a better quality of life for all its people. For this to happen the EU needs to be more strategic in its approach to the region and there is no longer place for hesitation and ambiguity, he argues.