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EU Commission supports Ukraine’s bid to join the bloc

Talking in Brussels, the European Fee’s President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned the Fee recommends “that Ukraine is given candidate standing. That is after all on the understanding that the nation will perform quite a lot of additional reforms.”

“Within the view of the Fee, Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the nation’s aspiration and the nation’s dedication to stay as much as European values and requirements.”

Von der Leyen ended her assertion by saying: “Everyone knows that Ukrainians are able to die for the European perspective. We wish them to stay with us the European dream.”

The Fee additionally beneficial candidate standing for Ukraine’s neighbor Moldova, however not for Georgia, till it meets additional situations. Leaders of the 27 EU member states will now meet for a summit subsequent week to debate its opinion.

Even when the member states agree that Ukraine ought to be a candidate nation — which is much from sure — the method to affix the EU is sophisticated and takes, on common, just below 5 years to finish, in accordance with the suppose tank, UK in a Changing Europe.

Throughout a joint press convention in Kyiv on Thursday with the EU’s foremost three political leaders, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned Russia’s assault on his nation amounted to an assault on all of Europe.

He added that the easiest way to reveal “our frequent and powerful place” is by supporting Ukrainian integration into the EU, including that its standing as a candidate for EU membership “can amplify freedom in Europe traditionally and develop into one of many key European choices of the primary third of the twenty first century.”

Zelensky mentioned Ukraine was able to work to develop into a full EU member: “We perceive that that the trail to the European Union can be a path and it’s not one step. However this path should start, and we’re able to work in order that our state is reworked right into a full member of the European Union and Ukrainians have already earned the fitting to embark on this path.”

Macron later mentioned that the potential granting of EU candidate standing to Ukraine was a results of Russia’s invasion. He was talking in an interview with CNN affiliate BFMTV Friday on board a prepare leaving Ukraine.

“Ukraine usually shouldn’t be a candidate,” he mentioned following his go to to Kyiv, “We’re doing it due to the conflict and since we expect it is good.

“It is a signal of hope, it is a message for Ukraine to say that they’re within the European household,” he mentioned.

Whereas Macron mentioned most of Western Europe was supportive of the plan, “Now we have international locations which can be extra reticent,” he mentioned.

The French chief added that the query of Ukraine’s candidacy for the EU shall be determined on the European Council summit subsequent Thursday and Friday.

“The trail is lengthy to affix the EU,” he added.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal expressed his gratitude for the EC’s resolution. “Grateful to @vonderleyen for this resolution!” he mentioned by way of Twitter. “It’ll speed up the method of full [Ukrainian] integration into the [European] inner market and successfully accompany the restoration of #Ukraine by EU requirements.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned Friday that Russia has “nothing in opposition to” Ukraine becoming a member of the EU.

“The EU will not be a military-political bloc, not like NATO, subsequently now we have at all times mentioned and I’ve at all times mentioned that our place right here is constant, comprehensible, now we have nothing in opposition to it,” Putin mentioned throughout a panel dialogue following his speech on the St. Petersburg Worldwide Financial Discussion board.

“It’s the sovereign resolution of any nation to affix or to not be a part of financial associations, and it’s as much as this financial affiliation to just accept new states as its members or not. So far as it’s expedient for the EU, let the EU international locations themselves determine. Whether or not it is going to be for the profit or to the detriment of Ukraine can be their enterprise,” Putin mentioned.

(From left) Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis meet for a working session in Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv on June 16, 2022.

What occurs subsequent?

Ukraine will now work to fulfill the Copenhagen Standards, an opaque trio of necessities that the EU have to be glad a candidate state has met with a view to enter the right accession negotiations. They concentrate on whether or not or not that nation has a functioning free-market financial system, whether or not the nation’s establishments are match to uphold European values equivalent to human rights and the EU’s interpretation of the rule of regulation and whether or not the nation has a functioning, inclusive democracy.

There are additionally actual considerations that Ukraine is a great distance from assembly the Copenhagen Standards any time quickly. In line with Transparency Worldwide’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, Ukraine is 122nd on its checklist of 180 international locations. For comparability, Russia sits in 136th place.

As soon as the nation is deemed to have met this standards, it could possibly start the EU’s 35 chapters of negotiation, the ultimate three of which return to some areas of the Copenhagen Standards.

Then, when the leaders of the EU member states have agreed, it should then be ratified within the EU Parliament and by the legislative branches of every member state’s authorities.

Ukraine formally utilized to affix the EU on February 28, simply 4 days after Russia started its invasion. Zelensky mentioned on the time that the bloc should “urgently admit Ukraine utilizing a brand new process … our objective is to be with all Europeans and, to be equal to them. I’m positive we deserve it. I’m positive it’s potential.”

Earlier than the conflict began, Zelensky had mentioned that Ukraine would additionally like to affix NATO. Nevertheless, within the months since, he has cooled on the thought after it appeared the alliance was not keen to confess Kyiv any time quickly.

“I requested them personally to say immediately that we’re going to settle for you into NATO in a yr or two or 5, simply say it immediately and clearly, or simply say no,” Zelensky said. “And the response was very clear, you are not going to be a NATO member, however publicly, the doorways will stay open,” he mentioned.

CNN’s Joseph Ataman, Camille Knight, Anna Chernova and Niamh Kennedy contributed to this report.

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