Ukraine gets the green light to start negotiations to join the European Union

Ukraine gets the green light to start negotiations to join the European Union
Von der Leyen and Zelensky during a surprise visit to Kiev

Noos News

  • Kesia Hexter

    European Union correspondent

  • Kesia Hexter

    European Union correspondent

If it were up to the European Commission, Ukraine and Moldova could begin negotiations on EU membership. This was stated in European Commission advice issued on Wednesday and seen by NOS.

The European Commission does not decide whether negotiations can actually begin, as these are the twenty-seven leaders of the European Union. They must unanimously agree to the positive advice. This decision is expected to be taken at the European Summit next December.

Germany announced earlier that it supports this. Foreign Minister Baerbock said last week that he was convinced that the European summit in December would give the green light to negotiations. Other countries have so far been more cautious and awaiting advice from the European Commission.

It is heard in the corridors of Brussels that Ukraine and Moldova can already count on the green light in December, including from the Netherlands. According to a senior EU official, this is a political signal to member states. Negotiations are not expected to begin this year.

It is striking that the European Union will negotiate with a country at war. It is a clear message to Ukraine that the country belongs to the European family, and at the same time a strong signal to Russia that the Union will not abandon Ukraine.

Sufficient progress

Ukraine became a candidate member of the European Union in record time last year. At the end of February, five days after the Russian invasion, President Zelensky sent a letter requesting membership to Brussels. Moldova followed soon after.

At the European Summit in June 2022, EU leaders agreed to place Ukraine and Moldova as candidates. Countries were not yet allowed to begin negotiations, and first had to meet additional conditions.

‘Amazing progress’

This is how Ukraine should have been Work on different pointsIncluding in the areas of anti-corruption and money laundering legislation and judicial reforms. Ukraine has made “astonishing” progress in all areas of the war over the past year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a surprise visit to Kiev last weekend.

The European Commission requests that Ukraine make additional efforts, including in the areas of additional anti-corruption legislation and protection of minorities. Accession negotiations will not be able to actually begin until these conditions are met, perhaps in the spring of 2024. This would bring Ukraine’s long-awaited desire for EU membership one step closer.

Just today, President Zelensky this video Before that happens, Ukrainians need to be more patient. In practice, negotiations on joining the European Union take a long time. to Meet all conditions Tens of thousands of pages of EU legislation would need to be adopted, which could easily take ten years or more.

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