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16 Jun. 2022


Candidate status for EU membership: what are the prospects for Ukraine?



Candidate status for EU membership: what are the prospects for Ukraine?

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A summit of EU leaders will take place in Brussels on June 23-24. In particular, the issue of granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership will be finally considered there. Tomorrow, June 17, the European Commission will approve its assessment of Ukraine's application and will submit its recommendations for consideration at the summit. According to Politico, the European Commission will recommend granting Ukraine official candidate status.

So what will it mean for Ukraine to be granted such a status?

First, granting EU candidate status would be a signal to Ukraine that Ukraine may one day become a member of the European Union. After granting Ukraine candidate status, a long process of reforms will begin to ensure that Ukraine's legislation is fully in line with European legislation. When all the necessary reforms have been carried out, the EU will draw up an accession treaty and set a date. This treaty will then be ratified by the parliaments of all EU member states, and a new country will become a member of the European Union on a certain date.

Who supports Ukraine?

Even before Ukraine applied for membership, the Czech Republic was going to support our European aspirations. On February 28, the presidents of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia issued a joint statement calling for support for Ukraine's EU bid.

The President of Ukraine's greatest friend, Poland, Andrzej Duda, has even toured European countries to lobby for Ukraine's EU candidate status.

Albania, Montenegro, and northern Macedonia have recently backed Ukraine's bid to join the EU, which was stated by the prime ministers of the countries at a meeting with Ukrainian President Zelensky.

On June 16, the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, and Romania visited Kyiv. According to them, the visit is a sign of European support for Ukrainians. After meeting with President Zelensky and visiting ruined Irpin, all leaders called for Ukraine to be granted EU candidate status immediately.

Citizens of Germany, the Netherlands, and France also support Ukraine's European aspirations, according to a poll.

The greatest hopes in Ukraine are placed on the support of President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel, who seem quite optimistic.

Who is against it?

According to Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Olha Stefanyshina, there are three main countries that "do not want to give the green light to Ukraine", and about seven have suggested other forms of rapprochement between Ukraine and the EU instead of full membership. Stefanishina refused to answer which countries these are, saying that it could harm the negotiation process.

But according to Bloomberg, Denmark and the Netherlands oppose it. However, Ihor Zhovkva, the deputy head of the OPU, recently stated that Denmark still supported Ukraine's European aspirations.

Doubts about Ukraine's status were also expressed in Sweden and Portugal. It is likely that these countries will wait for the conclusion of the European Commission and will form their position on its basis.

On June 12, more than a thousand Ukrainians held a rally in Brussels outside the European Commission building for granting Ukraine EU candidate status. First Lady Olena Zelenska also called on EU representatives to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership.