UPDATED: EU set to receive membership bids from Georgia, Moldova -EU official

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BRUSSELS, March 3  – The European Union is about to receive membership applications from Georgia and Moldova, an EU official said on Thursday.

The official said the applications were due “imminently”.

Earlier, Georgia will “immediately” apply for EU membership, the Black Sea nation’s ruling party said.

The ruling Georgian Dream party chairman, Irakli Kobakhidze, announced the party’s “decision today to immediately apply for the EU membership”.

Georgia calls on the EU “to review our application in an urgent manner and to make the decision to grant Georgia the status of an EU membership candidate”, he told journalists.

The decision was made “based on the overall political context and the new reality”, he added.

Georgia’s EU integration would put the country “on a path which will lead our country to a qualitative increase in our population’s wellbeing, security, and to de-occupation,” he added.

Georgia’s decision followed a similar move by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who won backing from MEPs in a non-binding resolution recommending EU bodies grant Ukraine the status of candidate country.

Georgia’s ruling party has faced strong pressure from opposition parties to follow Kyiv’s suit. The MEP’s vote on Ukraine was largely seen in Georgia as a window of opportunity to advance its own EU aspirations — a goal enshrined in the country’s constitution.

Last year, the Georgian government announced its intention to apply for EU membership in 2024.

Georgia’s government has faced mounting international criticism over perceived backsliding on democracy, seriously damaging Tbilisi’s relations with Brussels.

Read more via France 24/AFP

Photo – Georgian flag, on the left, and EU flag. EC – Audiovisual Service

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