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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 24/06/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 24/06/2022

Politico / EU leaders grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate status

  • EU leaders have granted Ukraine and Moldova candidate status, marking a key point on the countries’ journeys to possible EU membership.
  • The decision came on Thursday evening during a two-day European Council meeting in Brussels.
  • Both countries applied for membership in the weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine. Georgia also applied for membership but didn’t receive candidate status on Thursday.
  • Typically, the path to joining the EU is long and byzantine, taking years. But at least in the initial stages, EU leaders are moving with record speed when it comes to the bids from Ukraine and Moldova — partly an effort to show solidarity with the countries facing the most immediate threats from Moscow.
  • The Guardian – Jennifer Rankin / ‘Ukraine’s future is in the EU’: Zelenskiy welcomes granting of candidate status

Euractiv – Alexandra Brzozowski / EU leaders discuss France’s silver bullet’ to stabilize the EU’s neighbourhood

  • France has its own silver bullet to stabilise the EU’s neighbourhood, and it’s not necessarily enlargement in the first place.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday (23 June) took the opportunity of an EU leaders’ brainstorming session about Europe to promote his proposal to create a so-called “European Political Community”, suggested to the European Parliament in May during a debate about Ukraine’s membership bid.
  • The idea was to strengthen the bloc’s relationship with non-EU countries in the Western Balkans, or candidate countries such as Ukraine and Moldova, but also those satisfied to be outside the EU’s core framework, such as Switzerland and Norway, and perhaps even former member UK.
  • In the weeks since then, the general response has been wanting to hear more details from the French side before judgement is passed.
  • France 24 / What does French President Macron’s proposed ‘European Political Community’ entail?

Financial Times – Joe Miller, David Sheppard and Nathalie Thomas / Russian gas crisis will test EU solidarity, warns German utility RWE

  • EU solidarity will come under severe strain this winter if Russian gas supplies are cut off, the head of Germany utility RWE has warned, saying there will be “chaos” across the continent unless the bloc acts now to establish rules on energy sharing.
  • “The real fear I have is that European solidarity will come under significant stress if we don’t sort it out before the situation happens,” Markus Krebber said. He added that countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, which will import gas via carrier ships, could be accused of hoarding the fuel if companies and households are not treated equally across member states.
  • “I’m not so much concerned that we cannot find agreement, but it is better to discuss emergency proceedings when you still have time and not when the house is on fire,” Krebber told the Financial Times on Wednesday. “If you don’t operationalise it then you end up in chaos.”
  • Germany’s biggest power supplier has been among the utility providers hit by a drastic reduction in gas deliveries from Russia’s Gazprom, which has forced Berlin to implement an emergency plan under which mothballed coal-fired power plants will be revived to bridge the gap. RWE is currently receiving just 40 per cent of the gas it has contracted from Russia.
  • Project Syndicate – German Galuschenko, Oleg Ustenko / How to stop Russia immediately

Financial Times – John Reed / Myanmar junta in ‘serious struggle to survive’ as insurgency gathers momentum

  • Htet Myat served 15 years in Myanmar’s military, rising to the rank of captain before defecting to the opposition months after Aung San Suu Kyi’s government was toppled in a coup.
  • A year later, he is still in contact with serving soldiers but now works for a group offering training and logistical support for men who want to defect to the armed resistance fighting the junta.
  • “Compared with last year, we are now in a better situation,” he said of the “People’s Defence Force”, anti-regime fighting units that have sprung up since the putsch.
  • “We are getting stronger by the day,” he added. The PDFs have grown so powerful that some analysts believe the regime’s survival is now under threat.
  • Council on Foreign Relations – Lindsay Maizland / Myanmar’s troubled history: coups, military rule, and ethnic conflict

Our longer reads for the weekend:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.

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