EU Commission recommends candidate status for Ukraine
Russia-attacked Ukraine desperately wants the prospect of EU membership. A first hurdle on the way has now been cleared. However, there are many more waiting.
The EU Commission is in favor of officially nominating Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for accession to the European Union. The German press agency learned this from commission circles.
The authority is thus laying the basis for a possible decision by the EU member states. The heads of state and government already want to discuss the issue at a summit meeting at the end of next week.
Moldova and Georgia also want in
Ukraine, which has a population of more than 40 million, applied for EU membership around three and a half months ago, shortly after the start of the Russian attack on them. Shortly thereafter, the small neighbor Moldova and Georgia in south-eastern Europe also submitted applications for membership. Moldova recently had around 2.6 million inhabitants, Georgia around 3.7 million.
The procedure now proposed by the EU Commission envisages giving Ukraine and Moldova the status of EU accession candidates. At the same time, the authority believes that further progress in the accession process should be linked to specific conditions. In both countries there are shortcomings in the area of the rule of law and in the fight against corruption.
According to the EU Commission’s recommendation, Georgia, which is also aiming to join the EU, should only be granted candidate status after certain conditions have been met. Like Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, the country would initially only be a potential candidate for accession.
Now the ball is in the hands of the EU countries
Based on the Commission’s recommendation, the EU states must now decide how to proceed. So far, the governments’ views on the subject have differed widely. According to diplomats, countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands consider the granting of candidate status to the three states in Eastern Europe to be premature and purely symbolic.
Another argument put forward by skeptics is that the EU, with its principle of unanimity in matters such as foreign and security policy, is already considered cumbersome. They first urge internal reforms before opening the door to new members.
No timeframe associated with candidate status
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and French President Emmanuel Macron, on the other hand, spoke in Kyiv on Thursday in favor of Ukraine becoming a candidate for accession. Germany and France argue that the candidate status does not anticipate the admission decision, nor is it associated with a time frame. Turkey, for example, has been a candidate for accession since 1999.
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