The European Commission recommended this Friday at the 27th that Ukraine be “given a European perspective” and that Ukraine be “granted the status of candidate country for accession to the European Union”.
It was the president of the community executive, Ursula von der leyen, who made the announcement at the end of the meeting of the college of commissioners, in which the positive opinion was approved.
The decision was adopted “assuming that the country will carry out an important set of reforms”, stressed Von der Leyen, stressing that Ukraine has already “demonstrated determination” to become a member of the European Union and, “before the war, it had already started the path towards the European Union.
“The Union has been approaching ours for eight years”, he said, noting that during that time the country “has already made part of the convergence path, which culminated in the association agreement in 2016”.
“With that, Ukraine has already adopted about 70 percent of the European acquis, which are the rules, standards and norms”, underlined Von der Leyen, highlighting Ukraine’s participation “in the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, and in the Erasmus programme”.
“Ukraine has a very robust parliamentary and presidential democracy, which keeps the country functioning during this war and the modernization of the administration is advancing”, are other examples pointed out by Von der Leyen that pave the way for accession.
“Ukraine has a vibrant civil society, an electoral system that has proven to be fair and free, an education system that is well-developed,” he said. “We know and admire the digital skills of this country, and the digital infrastructure they have in place,” said Von der Leyen.
The president of the European Commission also considers that Ukraine has a “pre-war” economy that fits Brussels standards, with a robust deficit level of just 2%. And, public debt below 50%”.
We recommend to give Ukraine the candidate status, on the understanding that the country will carry out a number of important reforms.
Ukraine has clearly shown commitment to live up to European values and standards.
And embarked, before the war, on its way towards the EU. pic.twitter.com/Cggme0Ep0l
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) June 17, 2022
There are, however, reforms that will have to be carried out in the coming years. “For example in relation to the rule of law, Ukraine has made great strides, creating the necessary institutions for the judicial system to function effectively, and the necessary institutions over the veto of prosecutors. judges of the constitutional court as well as the supreme court of justice”.
“On corruption, Ukraine has also advanced a lot, establishing the anti-corruption bodies. The work must now be on choosing the new leadership of the public prosecutor and the director of the anti-corruption office. The bodies are created, now they have to become fully operational “.
“On oligarchs, Ukraine has adopted a robust law against oligarchs … now they have to implement it,” Von der Leyen said, hoping to “see results on the ground.”
The Commission also highlights the progress made in the field of “fundamental rights”, but stresses that part of the recommendations, namely in relation to “the rights of minorities”, has not yet been achieved.
“Much has already been achieved, but of course an important part of the work has not yet. Noting that the “process will be based on merit”, Ursula von der Leyen stressed that “progress depends entirely on Ukraine. It is in Ukraine’s hands to defend what can be best to define its future.”
“We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live the European dream with us,” Von der Leyen said, repeating that “Ukraine deserves to be part of the European family.”
Moldova and Georgia
Brussels gave an equally positive opinion towards Moldova, so that a European perspective is given and candidate status is granted.
Regarding Georgia’s candidacy, the Commission asks the 27 to be given a European perspective, but recommends that more studies be carried out, on reforms and on the convergence trajectory, until it can be granted the status of candidate country.
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*News updated at 1:42 pm