Ukraine has been granted the EU candidate status
The leaders of the European Union member states have decided to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership.
This historic decision was announced on Twitter by the President of the European Council Charles Michel calling the event "an extremely important step" on the road to the EU. In addition to Ukraine, Moldova have also been granted candidate status.
According to Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishina, the decision of the European Council initiates a legal mechanism by which Ukraine will move towards full-fledged membership in the EU, while work on the recommendations of the European Commission has already begun. For example, on Monday, the Verkhovna Rada sent a very positive signal, passing several important laws that have been awaiting political support for years, including the ratification of the Istanbul Convention and the Anti-Corruption Strategy.
In addition to the official legal consolidation of Ukraine's European future, the status of a candidate for EU membership provides a number of other advantages for Ukraine on the European integration path, in particular:
• Launch of a large-scale transformation of the country - preparation for EU membership involves the approximation of living standards, welfare, and legal protection of Ukrainians, as in EU countries;
• Access to finance - Ukraine will have access to financial assistance for countries preparing to join the EU, including grants, investments, or technical assistance;
• Attracting investments - in the course of reforms Ukraine will become more attractive to foreign investors, and EU member states will consider investments in Ukraine as investments in the growth and strengthening of the EU;
• Development of cooperation - Ukraine will participate in EU programs and initiatives open to EU countries and countries with candidate status.
Olha Stefanishina also stated that the Parliament will prepare for the vote of more than 30 European integration bills by the end of this year.
Ukraine now faces a complex and lengthy process of negotiations on full-fledged membership, which should be based on the reconstruction of the country, as well as legislative, economic, social, and technological approximation to EU standards. But, according to the Deputy Prime Minister, the reform plan presented by the European Commission in the conclusion is in our interests, and "in any case, we will not let delay or talk our way out about the further integration movement of Ukraine."
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