European Union leaders on Thursday agreed to accept Ukraine as a candidate for membership in the European Union, but it is not clear whether Eastern European countries will join the European Union.
European Council President Charles Michel confirmed Thursday afternoon that leaders had approved the status of EU candidates not only in Ukraine but also in its neighboring country, Moldova. Brussels has not welcomed a new country since Croatia joined the EU in 2013.
The EU candidate status does not grant membership that could be decades ahead and does not mean that Ukraine is about to join another defense-oriented block, NATO. .. However, Michelle called the announcement a “historic moment” in the light of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has been furious since February 24th.
“Today marks an important step on the road to the EU,” he says. I have written On Twitter in connection with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The European Council has also decided that it “acknowledges Georgia’s view of Europe and is ready to give it a candidate status if unresolved priorities are addressed,” Michelle continued on a social media site.
Correspondingly, Zelensky I have written The European Council’s decision to give him the status of a candidate for the country is a “unique and historic moment” in the relationship between the European Union and Ukraine.
“Today is the beginning of a long journey we walk with,” wrote Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. “Ukrainians belong to European families. The future of Ukraine is in the EU. We are standing together for peace.”
And Vsevolod Chentsov, head of Ukraine’s mission to the EU, said the announcement would send a message to the Kremlin in a months of conflict.
EU candidate status is “trust gesture”, Chentsov Said “The EU believes Ukraine can do this,” the Washington Post added earlier this week.
But Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa Said The Financial Times recently suggested that the announcement of the candidacy has created “false expectations” in Ukraine and that accession to the EU is a long process. Ukraine needs to align its political and judicial system with the block system.
For example, Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987, but it has not been accepted. Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia have been in talks with the EU for years or even decades.
Last week, the European Commission provided six steps that Ukraine must take before it can move forward and be considered. This includes reducing the influence of oligarchs, creating new legislation to ensure better judge choices, and strengthening prosecution of corruption cases. post.
Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz said this week that the EU must “reform internal procedures” to prepare for new members, calling for a key issue to agree with a qualified majority rather than unanimously. It pointed out.
Reuters contributed to this report.