Kyiv still has a lot of steps to take in order to actually join the European Union
Members of the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of granting Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidates for the European Union. 529 parliamentarians spoke in favor of the decision, 45 opposed, 14 abstained. The resolution is advisory in nature. The final decision should be made later at the EU summit. The leaders of the association note that countries will have to carry out serious reforms first.
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk. Photo: AP
The European Parliament statement notes that the EU leadership must fulfill its historic responsibility – to give Ukraine and Moldova a “clear political signal confirming their European perspective.”
“With 529 votes in favour, 45 votes against and 14 abstentions, Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution calling on the heads of state who will host the summit today and tomorrow to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova without delay,” the European Parliament said in a statement. .
MEPs also urged the EU to give the status of a candidate to Georgia. At the same time, they specified that this should be done after her government fulfills the conditions specified by the European Commission.
It is important to understand that the resolution adopted by the European Parliament is purely advisory in nature. The final decision on this issue will be made later at the EU summit, which is taking place these days in Brussels.
The European Parliament noted that such a decision was made as a “symbol of hope” to maintain the spirit of Ukrainians. Indeed, for a real entry into the European Union, Kyiv will have to “make a lot of steps.”
Moreover, this process could easily be reversed if the future Kyiv government fails to implement the necessary rule of law reforms and bring its economy in line with EU standards.
The transition from “applicant” to “candidate” status usually takes years. However, the European Union accelerated this process in relation to Ukraine. According to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Kyiv's desire to join the EU has led Ukrainians to “go through hell.”
Shortly before the start of the EU summit, President of the European Council Charles Michel expressed confidence that the EU would grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova.
“This is a defining moment for the European Union,” he told reporters. “It is also a geopolitical choice that we will make today, and I am sure that we will grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova.”
In turn, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said that the candidate’s status “will draw a line under decades of ambiguity” and “carve it in stone: Ukraine is Europe, not part of the “Russian world.”
Commenting the possibility of obtaining such a status, Ukrainian Ambassador to the EU Vsevolod Chentsov noted that the European Union is acting “with lightning speed” according to its standards.
“We need this clarity [regarding EU membership] in order to support the Ukrainian army, Ukrainian society morally, psychologically and get a clear sense and understanding of the direction of movement for the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, senior European officials have counted at least 10 member states that have previously opposed granting Ukraine candidate status for the EU, reports The Guardian. However, recently, under some pressure, they have changed their positions.
The draft conclusions of the summit, which the publication got acquainted with, say that the “progress” of the candidate country will depend on “its own merits”, as well as “ on the EU's ability to accept new members.
Earlier, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said against this background that the EU needs to “reform its internal procedures” in order to prepare for the admission of new members. The politician called for greater use of supermajority votes in areas such as foreign policy to end the blocking of a decision by one country.
Recall that a two-day European Union summit opened in Brussels on Thursday, June 23. The main topic of the summit meeting was the further steps taken by the EU to strengthen security and stability on the continent.