in

Ukraine officially becomes a candidate country to join the European Union

Pedro Sánchez talks with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, during the summit this Thursday

Related news

It is a “decisive moment” and a “geopolitical choice”, maintains the President of the European Council, Charles Michael. This is a decision of “historical” significance, says the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz. An exhibition of “the unity of Europe against Putin and in favor of Ukraine, its national sovereignty and its territorial integrity”, indicated the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez.

[La candidatura de Kiev pone a prueba la capacidad de la UE de absorber a más miembros]

The Heads of State and Government of the Twenty-seven have agreed this Thursday, unanimously and with hardly any debate, grant the status of a candidate to enter the European Union to Ukraine, a country at war and with part of its territory occupied by Russia. This decision was inconceivable just a few weeks ago, but Vladimir Putin’s aggression has provoked a unprecedented acceleration of history in Europe.

European leaders have also recognized neighboring Moldova as a candidate country, which is also in the Kremlin’s sights. Only Georgia remains off the hook of this historical moment for having backslid on democratizing reforms, although he is guaranteed a “European perspective”.

“The European Council has granted the status of candidate countries to Ukraine and Moldova. A historic moment and a sign of hope for the Ukrainian people”, said the Luxembourg Prime Minister, Xavier Betelthe first to announce the news on Twitter. “Today is a good day for Europe”assured the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

After the decision was made, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been connected by videoconference to the summit and has conveyed his gratitude to the European leaders. “This is a unique and historic moment in EU-Ukraine relations. Ukraine’s future lies within the EU“Zelensky also wrote on Twitter.

“After NATO has said no to an accession of Ukraine, for good reasons, we we would have made a political mistake and left a vacuum if we had not reached out to Ukraine and Moldova. And we could not leave this political and geostrategic vacuum. This is the meaning of the European perspective and the recognition of the status of a candidate,” explained French President Emmanuel Macron.

kyiv thus advances to the starting point in the process of joining the club, which will be long and tortuous: the accession negotiations do not even have a start date and in any case they will take years or even decades, Macron has repeated. The decision of the European leaders has an important symbolic value, but in practice it has very few concrete effects, since does not create any legal or financial obligation for Brussels. This is demonstrated by the case of Turkey, a candidate country since 1999 and which will probably never enter the Union.

Pedro Sánchez talks with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, during the summit this Thursday

EU

Ukraine’s bid it also tests the EU’s ability to absorb new members. With its more than 40 million inhabitants, Ukraine would become the fifth most populous country in the EU, behind Germany, France, Italy and Spain and ahead of Poland. An accession that, if completed, will profoundly alter the balance of power within the Union and shift its center of gravity to the East.

“Ukrainians are fighting not only for the freedom of Ukraine, but also for the freedom of the democratic world. This political support is very important for the fighting spirit of the Ukrainians“, celebrated the president of Lithuania, Nauseda Gypsies.

For the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander DeCroo, the recognition of kyiv as a candidate country “is an important signal from the political point of view”. “But we must be clear: for Ukraine it is going to be a very, very long journey, with huge reforms that will take a long time“, he warned.

The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Ruttewho resisted granting candidate status to the end and now stresses that accession negotiations will not start until Ukraine completes seven previous reforms that Brussels demands of it in terms of fighting corruption and reinforcing the rule of law.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte talks with Ursula von der Leyen during the European Council this Thursday

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte talks with Ursula von der Leyen during the European Council this Thursday

EU

Some reforms that Ursula von der Leyen herself has admitted are very difficult to carry out in a war situation. “We were worried that the Commission was going to rush into granting candidate status. But von der Leyen has presented a very balanced, harsh and brutally honest opinion about what Ukraine still needs to do so that negotiations can be opened,” says Rutte.

In any case, the granting of candidate status (a process that normally takes years) has been completed in record time. Volodymyr Zelensky He signed the application for entry on February 28, four days after the outbreak of the war. With his entry into NATO ruled out for the time being, the Ukrainian president has turned his candidacy for the EU into a emblem of his fight against the Kremlin.

The Heads of State and Government, in the meeting room of the European Council

The Heads of State and Government, in the meeting room of the European Council

EU

From the first minute, Zelensky had the support of Poland and the Balts, who are in the front line of the match against Moscow. “Poland has been the main ambassador to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine. During the discussions at the Versailles summit (early March), only Poland and a few other member states were in favour,” the Polish minister boasts. Mateusz Morawiecki.

Step by step, the Ukrainian president has managed to convince even the most skeptical. The last to yield have been the French Emmanuel Macron and the german Olaf Scholz, who announced their change of position during their visit to kyiv last week. Later, the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, published a positive opinion, which ended up decanting the most recalcitrant undecided, the Netherlands and Portugal.

What is the next step now? The Community Executive must do a first balance at the end of the year on the reforms demanded of kyiv, which refer above all to the fight against corruption and the independence of the judiciary. The next stage, the opening of negotiations, again requires the unanimity of the Member States. A consensus that will be more difficult to find. North Macedonia and Albania have been candidates since 2005 and 2014, respectively, and have not yet managed to start the dialogue.



Source link

Written by Editor TLN

Leave a Reply

Several NGOs number a hundred civilians "tortured to death" by the Burmese junta since the coup

Several NGOs number a hundred civilians “tortured to death” by the Burmese junta since the coup

About 20 people die in new clashes in Abyei, in dispute between Sudan and South Sudan

About 20 people die in new clashes in Abyei, in dispute between Sudan and South Sudan