France, Germany, Italy and Romania won to give Ukraine an “immediate” candidate for EU membership. This was stated by French President Emmanuel Macron during a press conference in Kyiv today.
“The four of us support the status of the immediate candidate,” Macron said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the end of a visit to Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky was present as always in a khaki shirt.
The letter represented a major boost for Zelensky on the 113th day of the war. He has been working tirelessly for membership candidates since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24. “Ukrainians have already earned the right to go down this path,” Zelensky said. The president said Ukraine was now “ready” to work towards “full membership”.
The opinion of the European Commission
Macron, Schulz, Draghi, Yohannes and the heads of state or government of other EU member states will decide next week at a summit in Brussels on granting membership to candidates for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Each member state has a veto. Tomorrow the European Commission will actually issue its opinion.
Schulz also called for a “positive decision” for Moldova, while Iohannis was the only one to defend Georgia, which currently appears to be the furthest from candidate status. The Romanian president said: “It is about our ability to bring security and stability to our region. There is no time for hesitation.”
Candidate country status does not mean that any country can join the European Union one day at a time. Membership is preceded by years of negotiations in which a country must demonstrate that it respects basic democratic values, can retain its economic characteristics in the European single market and adopt and comply with European regulations.
President Zelensky understood that placing a candidate is a path, not a goal yet. A path that requires deep reforms in Ukrainian society.
For a country like Ukraine, which is at war, must be rebuilt and has not had a reputation for corruption and the rule of law for too long, there is still a very long way to go. President Zelensky has recognized that placing a candidate is a path, not a goal yet. Draghi said the path required profound reforms in Ukrainian society.
European leaders have also drawn attention to the Balkan countries, some of which have been sitting in the waiting room for years. “It is a matter of credibility that we are finally fulfilling our promise to the countries of the Western Balkans, which have been on this path for years, now and in concrete terms,” Schultz said. The German stressed that the criteria for accession could not be negotiated. “Democracy and the rule of law are what bind us together in the European Union and distinguish us from others.”
Russia believes that European leaders are pursuing geopolitical interests only by supporting Ukraine’s candidate for membership. “If Ukraine receives a roadmap to prepare for membership, this means that the EU is once again ready to forget its own criteria that have always existed for candidates and that the EU is ready to be guided only by geopolitical considerations,” the foreign minister said. Sergey Lavrov on NTV.
Unlimited free access to Showbytes? And that can!
Sign in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”