Sunday, October 2

Brussels launches Ukraine’s EU accession train

  • The European Commission recommends to the Heads of State and Government of the EU to grant the status of a candidate country to the country invaded by Russia, although with conditions

The negotiation process will be long and complicated and could go on for years or even decades, but the European Comission confirmed this Friday the proposal to grant Ukraine -Also to moldova while Georgia will have to meet some conditions first – the candidate country status to the European Union. A label, for now, with few practical effects but loaded with symbolism and that arrives on the 114th day of the war launched by Russia in the country. The recommendation, which launches the Ukrainian accession train to the EUsends a resounding message to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin: your sphere of influence is a thing of the past and the door of the European club is open. The last word they will have it now 27 EU heads of state and government.

“The European Commission recommends that Ukraine be given a European perspective and that it be given candidate country status on the understanding that the country will carry out a whole series of important reforms,” ​​announced the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, after an express in-depth analysis of the merits of the country. According to the community analysis, Ukraine has demonstrated its commitment to achieving European values ​​and standards and has made great strides in the last eight years. In fact, thanks to the association agreement it has with the EU, since 2016 they already apply 70% of the European acquis. “It is part of very important programs such as Horizon Europe and Erasmus. It has a solid parliamentary democracy and a public administration that works well and has managed to keep the country going during the war”, the president has assessed. Brussels admits, however, that there is still work to be done, particularly in judicial matters, fight against corruption either respect for fundamental rights.

Brussels’ recommendation to European leaders comes after an express visit to kyiv, the second since the war began, von der Leyen, and an orientation debate last Monday between the commissioners. “We want to support Ukraine on its European path. We want to look to the future”, answered von der Leyen on June 17. the ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky he applied for entry on February 28, just four days after the start of the Russian invasion. A request that he has insistently repeated in each and every one of the numerous public interventions that he has made since then. At the summits of European leaders -three so far-, before the plenary session of the European Parliament and before the national parliaments.

“Show that the EU is with us and will not abandon us,” he begged on March 1 before the European Parliament asking for . Behind this strategy lies a message that has been conveyed actively and passively in all European meetings by those who have also participated in its ministers: we are not only fighting for the freedom and survival of Ukraine but of the entire European Union. A message that has managed to break down some resistance among European leaders that has culminated this week with the strong public support given by the three main powers of the European Union, Germany, France and Italyand staged in kyiv, during the visit of the French president, Emmanuel Macronthe German chancellor, Olaf Scholzand the Italian Prime Minister, mario draghi to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Zelensky.

Decision of the Twenty Seven

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“We want Ukraine to immediately acquire the status of a candidate for accession”, they indicated this Thursday accompanied by the president of Romania, Klaus Ioannis. The last word on the granting of the status -unanimously- will be held by the Twenty-seven EU Heads of State and Government who will analyze the proposal in the June 23-24 summit in Brussels. A discussion that promises to be complicated and that they face divided between those in favor of granting the status immediately, such as Poland or the three Baltic republics, and those who consider that beyond a political decision it is a process for which they are not prepared. .

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This is the opinion, for example, of the Netherlands, which consider that the European perspective that they have already promised Zelensky is a politically “substantive” step but that at the moment they are far from meeting the Copenhagen criteria, the requirements that any country that wishes to be Member of the EU must comply in terms of established institutions, respect for the rule of law, a functioning market economy and the ability to comply with the acquis communautaire. Something that a country at war, such as Ukraine, can hardly guarantee.

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