Saakashvili’s European allies try to block Georgian advance to the EU

Proposals to open membership of the European Union to Georgia were defeated in the foreign affairs committee of the European parliament by members of the European People’s Party, the centre-right grouping to which Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement belongs, reports Gruzia Online. EPP member parties have become increasingly hostile to expanding EU membership, particularly to Turkey. Further to the right the British Conservatives – who left the EPP in protest at its centrist outlook – have made it a priority to clamp down on immigration from outside the EU and so they too are unlikely to support moves that would allow more people to claim rights to work inside the Union. The draft motion, prepared by a member of the centre-left “Socialists and Democrats” group, stated:

Underlines that the prospect of accession, as envisaged in article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union, constitutes the long-term perspective of our Partner countries and stresses the importance of keeping the prospect of membership as the driving force for reforms in these countries;

Underlines that the prospect of accession, as envisaged in article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union, constitutes the long-term perspective of our Partner countries and stresses the importance of keeping the prospect of membership as the driving force for reforms in these countries; A compromise had been agreed with the EPP group on the wording but they were accused of withdrawing from the compromise at the last minute and even members of the EPP group – such as former Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis – seemed unhappy (Landsbergis attacked the behaviour of the group in the committee meeting). The committee went on to adopt a much weaker text which simply said membership could remain an option: Underlines that the prospect of accession, as envisaged in article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union, could constitute a long-term perspective of our Partner countries and stresses the importance of keeping open the issue of membership as a driving force for reforms in these countries;

Underlines that the prospect of accession, as envisaged in article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union, could constitute a long-term perspective of our Partner countries and stresses the importance of keeping open the issue of membership as a driving force for reforms in these countries;

Original source:

http://georgiamediacentre.com

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