The European Commission recommends granting EU candidate status to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Both countries still have to make reforms, and “the ball is in their court,” Von der Leyen said.
“Firstly, the Commission recommends to the Council that Ukraine be given the prospect of a European future and, secondly, that it be granted candidate status. This means, of course, for the country to implement a number of important reforms. Ukraine has certainly shown its aspiration and determination to live up to European values and standards. Ukraine has a strong parliamentary and presidential democracy, a well-functioning public administration. Ukraine has a very dynamic, very active civil society, and that is a good thing. He has an electoral system that has proven to be fair and free. Ukraine has already taken important steps to become a fully functioning market economy. We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live the European dream with us, “said von der Leyen.
“We have a clear message, and that is: yes, Ukraine deserves European perspectives, yes, Ukraine must be accepted as a candidate state. We are following the rules, progress depends on Ukraine, the ball is in the territory of the Ukrainians “, she continued.
“We also recommend that the Council give Moldova the prospect of a European future and candidate status, with a view to a series of important reforms. In the recent past, Moldova has taken decisive steps towards reforms. There is a clear mandate from the citizens. It is on a real reformist, anti-corruption and European path, for the first time since gaining independence. As long as the country’s leaders continue on this path, we believe that the country has the potential to live up to expectations “, the head of the EC added.
The announcement comes a day after French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis paid a visit to Ukraine.
Both countries will have to meet a number of conditions in the future in terms of the rule of law, justice and the fight against corruption.
“Ukraine is a European state that has fully demonstrated its adherence to the values on which the European Union is founded. The Commission therefore recommends that Ukraine be granted candidate status, provided that it will take a number of specific measures, ”the recommendation reads.
The recommendations of the European Commission will have to be approved by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament.
Ukraine demanded EU membership just four days after Russian troops launched the invasion in February. Four days later, Moldova and Georgia, two other former Soviet states with separatist regions occupied by Russian troops, also applied for EU membership.
In the case of Georgia, the European Commission has decided that it has several conditions before it can be granted candidate status.
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