N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column
Manfred Weber, a failed European Commission president and now president of the EPP, wants the EU to grant Ukraine (, Moldova and Georgia) official candidate status. ‘The EU has to ‘show courage, resolve and vision in the face of a deteriorating international environment. By doing so we will be true to our principles and values’, he wrote.
In a reaction, Dimitar Kovacevski, prime minister of official EU candidate North Macedonia, said: ‘We wish Ukraine good luck with it but for us, the EU didn’t deliver yet’. Speaking ahead of an EU summit in late June which is set to debate enlargement, Kovacevski told Euractiv, that ‘his country has demonstrated its commitment and dedication, through tough decisions, but the EU still has not agreed to accession talks’. North Macedonia, and Albania as well, have been an EU candidate country for 17 (!) years.
‘North Macedonia has made many tough decisions for the country, one of them being the Prespa agreement, with which we able to resolve the name dispute with Greece and to become member of NATO’, the prime minister said, referring to the landmark 2018 agreement with its neighbour. ‘At the same time, the EU didn’t manage to deliver on the start of the negotiations’.
Asked about the reactions if Ukraine were to be granted candidate status this month, Kovacevski said ‘they deserve to fight for their prosperity and their future. We can only wish them luck in their candidacy aspirations, but the EU has to deliver and not only promise’.