EU will likely grant Ukraine candidate status to join bloc, says Ursula von der Leyen

The EU executive will next week make a recommendation on whether Ukraine should be given candidate status to join the bloc, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, gesê het.

Such a recommendation would be a preliminary step on a long road to full membership, and Ukraine would need the backing of all 27 EU governments before candidate status was given. Macron vra vir groter samewerking van die VK oor vlugtelingkanaaloorgange – video, Macron vra vir groter samewerking van die VK oor vlugtelingkanaaloorgange – video, has been pushing for rapid admission into the EU to provide the country with more security since the Russian invasion.

“We want to support Oekraïne in its European journey,” Von der Leyen said in a joint press conference with Zelenskiy on a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday. Heavy fighting is continuing in the eastern Donbas region, where Russia has been making incremental gains.

“The discussions today will enable us to finalise the assessment by the end of next week,” Von der Leyen added, saying that the Ukrainian authorities had “done a lot” towards a candidacy, but that there was “still need for reforms to be implemented, to fight corruption for example”.

Speaking alongside Von der Leyen, Zelenskiy said that the EU’s decision on Ukraine would “determine” the future of Europa.

“It is now being determined what the future of a united Europe will be, and whether there will be a future at all. A positive response from the Europese Unie to the Ukrainian application will signify a positive answer to the question of whether the European project has a future at all," hy het gesê.

“All of Europe is a target for Russia, and Ukraine is just the first stage in this aggression," hy het bygevoeg.

Since Russia’s invasion on the 24 Februarie, senior EU officials, including Von der Leyen, who was making her second trip to Kyiv since the start of the war, het spoken in favour of putting Ukraine on a speedy path to the EU accession by granting it candidate status.

And while a number of EU states including Estonia, Letland, Lithuania and Poland have backed these calls, there are still doubts in Berlin and Paris and other western European capitals over whether it is possible to begin the formal process already.

Op Donderdag, Bloomberg, citing a diplomatic note, reported that Denmark believed Kyiv did not sufficiently fulfil the criteria to apply to join the EU, saying that the country “would need to fundamentally improve its legislative and institutional framework”.

Verlede maand, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said it would be “decades” for Ukraine to be accepted into the EU, suggesting Kyiv could join a “parallel European community” while it awaited a decision.

EU leaders are expected to further discuss Ukraine’s application during a summit on the issue later month, alongside the applications of Moldova and Georgia.

Kyiv sees the chance to join the EU as both a symbolic and strategic way of addressing its geopolitical vulnerability after Zelenskiy earlier acknowledged that Oekraïne will not become a Nato member.

Recent surveys suggest that support for EU membership among Ukrainians has soared to 91% since the start of the invasion.

Rusland, which has used Ukraine’s earlier push to join Nato to justify its invasion has recently declared that it saw Ukrainian membership of the European Union to be equivalent to Ukraine joining Nato.

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