Von der Leyen made her remarks on Friday. It wants to offer the start of accession procedures for several months, especially for Ukraine. Critical parties accuse the president of the European Commission of a heavy dose of symbolism, as well as of sowing false hopes. After all, the actual joining procedure will take many years. In addition, according to critics, Ukrainian nepotism cannot be sold to other countries already subject to the measure.
Ukrainian President Zelensky expressed his desire to become a member of the European Union in his address to the House of Representatives more than a week ago. It won him a warm welcome from the present deputies.
A visit to Zelenski
Von der Leyen made the remarks on Friday during a visit to Volodymyr Zelensky. The Ukrainian President handed over a questionnaire which constitutes the starting point for the EU to decide on EU membership. “As usual, it will not take a matter of years to form this opinion, but rather a matter of weeks,” he added.
With SP MP Jasper van Dijk, an error occurred. The order was submitted for questions next Tuesday. He wants to know from Prime Minister Rutte whether he agrees with the party that this is a “reckless act”.
This is perhaps understandable because of the war Ukraine is in, but what von der Leyen did was unwise. A sausage is reserved for memberships that will not be honored for the next 10 years. The preferential treatment of other candidate countries cannot be explained either.”
VVD also had a Von der Leyen PR moment shaking its head. “We think that it is unwise to promise Ukraine membership, because you create an expectation that it will be very close, when it is not. This is a process with many conditions and guarantees. They are there for a reason”, confirms MP Roelin Kamenga.
Wilders: It’s time to leave
Wilders entered the PVV leader with a straight leg. He describes von der Leyen’s words about accelerating Ukraine’s EU membership as “nonsense and unwise.”
“And who was she talking about? She is not elected by anyone, has zero mandate and even less common sense. It is time for her to step down.”
According to EU experts, it is unrealistic for Ukraine to become a member of the EU at an accelerated pace. Von der Leyen’s work is seen primarily as symbolic. It is a process that takes many years, and in the end it is up to the 27 EU member states to decide unanimously on Ukraine’s possible admission, not to von der Leyen and the European Commission (EC).
But before the 27 countries of the European Union vote on a possible candidate for Ukraine’s membership, the advice of the European Commission is required first. This process usually takes one and a half to two years, although no specific time period is specified in EU rules. So the EU could – if it really wanted to – choose to shorten the process significantly. This would be a political choice, but it could set a precedent.
Rep. D66 Sjoerd Sjoerdsma sees no problem with that. “In recognition of von der Leyen’s strategic course. She understands that Ukraine has chosen the values of the European Union and is now literally fighting for them. Therefore, she really wants to offer Ukraine a European perspective as soon as possible under the current conditions.”
Prime Minister Rutte said earlier that he is not keen on the path of Ukraine’s EU severance. As far as it is concerned, the question of “deepening cooperation” will remain for the time being.
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