Europe

EU grants Ukraine and Moldova accession candidate status

Archive - The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky

Archive - The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky

Archive – The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky – PRESIDENCY OF UKRAINE – Archive

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Macron warns that it is a “political” decision and that the EU must be able to tell other neighbors that “they will not share a house”

BRUSSELS, 23 (EUROPE PRESS)

The leaders of the European Union have agreed this Thursday to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate to join the European bloc, in an unprecedented decision by accepting the candidacy of a country at war and following the opinion of the European Commission that endorsed the take this step last week, assuming that both countries will undertake far-reaching reforms.

“We recognize the European perspective of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. We have decided to give the candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova and we are ready to give it to Georgia when a number of priorities are addressed”, confirmed the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, at a press conference in Brussels after the decision of the leaders of the Twenty-seven.

“It is a historic moment and a strong message, of unity and determination”, the former Belgian prime minister has valued, noting that the European leaders have shared the moment with the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski, and that they will do the same with Moldovan President Maia Sandu and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili later.

For his part, Von der Leyen celebrated that it is “a good day for Europe” and a “defining” moment for the European Union. “They are part of the European family and this historic decision confirms it. It gives them the prospect of joining the EU and establishes the path to follow”, he indicated, emphasizing that “there is no better sign of hope for its citizens” in the face of the Russian aggression.

“I am convinced that the decision strengthens everyone, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, in the face of Russian aggression and the EU because it shows once again to the world that the EU is united and strong in the face of external threats”, said Von der Leyen. .

In any case, the conservative German has insisted that, “of course”, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia will have to “do homework” to advance to the next steps of accession. “I am convinced that they will move forward as soon as possible to implement the necessary reforms, not only because they are on the European path but because they are good for democracy, the country and, ultimately, they are good for citizens,” she stressed.

The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has recognized that the decision is political and responds to the context of war with Russia and has refused to continue this dynamic with other countries. “In the long term, do I think that is the appropriate perspective? I tell you frankly: No. Because it takes time and because we see a phenomenon of enlargement fatigue among these countries”, he admitted.

On the project to create a European political community, Macron’s initiative to link EU members and third states, the French leader has spoken of the need to strengthen strategic ties with countries that will not join the bloc.

“We have to be honest. We don’t all have a vocation to share the same house, but we do have the same street. We have a geographical Europe with common values, we don’t have the same standards of rule of law. We have situations that are far apart economically and socially. that do not allow the Single Market, but we must be able to strengthen strategic ties”, he reasoned.

In his opinion, stabilizing the European neighborhood does not have to go hand in hand with a European perspective. “We must be able to say that we have to be able to have a neighborhood that does not live with us, because otherwise it means that the EU has no limits other than the limits of Europe”, he reflected.


REACTION FROM EU LEADERS

As soon as the decision was known, the European leaders celebrated the agreement with messages underlining the historical nature of the decision. While the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, described it as a “historic moment” that gives a “sign of hope” to the Ukrainian people, the Lithuanian President, Gitanas Nauseda, spoke of the “great victory of Ukraine and the European Union” with this “important and timely” decision.

The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has also congratulated the two new candidates and has given them a “welcome”. “Here is the good cooperation of the European family. For the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, Ukrainian citizens are “fighting for the same values ​​that the European Union defends”.

The High Representative for Foreign Policy of the EU, Josep Borrell, has posted a video on Twitter together with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dimitro Kuleba. “This is a crucial moment for the EU, Ukraine and for peace and democracy on our shared continent,” they both stressed. “Ukraine will win. Europe will prevail,” Borrell stressed.

For her part, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, celebrated that with this decision the EU is on “the right side of history”. “We give hope. For democracy, freedom and our future,” she said.

GEORGIA AND BOSNIA

Regarding the situation in which Georgia now remains, a country in which the Twenty-seven recognize the European perspective but ask for more structural reforms before taking the next step, the President of the European Council has indicated that it is necessary to complete the European reforms and has asked that they address a series of democratic reforms.

The president of the European Commission has assessed that Tbilisi must take advantage of the scenario of having a European perspective and has called for “political unity” to commit to civil society and advance the reform agenda.

The debate on Enlargement has also included the situation in the Balkans and, despite the discomfort of the leaders of the region due to the lack of progress, in the end the leaders have agreed to “revitalize” the commitment with Bosnia and Herzegovina and ask the Commission Union a report with different conditions so that the European Council can take up the matter.

In the document of conclusions, the European leaders have assured that they are ready to “guarantee the status of a candidate for Bosnia and Herzegovina” and demand that Brussels report “without delay” on the implementation of the 14 priorities to advance accession.

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