UPDATED: EU says no to membership candidate status for Georgia; Proposes membership status to Moldova

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BRUSSELS, June 17 (Reuters) – Georgia needs to meet certain conditions before it can be granted the status of European Union membership candidate, the European Commission said on Friday.

“It should be granted candidate status once a number of priorities have been addressed,” the Commission said in a statement.

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“To succeed, the country must now come together politically, to design a clear path towards structural reform and the European Union – a path that concretely sets out the necessary reforms, brings on board civil society, and benefits from broad political support,” the president of the bloc’s executive, Ursula von der Leyen, told a news conference.

The European Commission on Friday proposed making Moldova an EU membership candidate.

The Commission concluded that Moldova, which shares a long border with Ukraine, has reached a solid basis to further alignment with EU rules and regulations, the EU’s executive said in a statement.

Moldova welcomed a European Commission recommendation to grant it EU candidate status, which it expects EU leaders to approve next week, the country’s president said on Friday.

“The recommendation is based on the understanding that our country would put more efforts in such key areas as justice reform, fight against corruption, public administration and human rights,” Maia Sandu said.

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