EU supports decision to grant Ukraine candidate status

Europe: The Commission delivered its conclusions on Friday about Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova’s bids for membership in the EU, suggesting to the European Council that all three countries be given a European perspective and that Ukraine and Moldova be awarded candidate country status.

Their application was assessed on the merits of each country and in light of the Copenhagen criteria to join the European Union: political criteria, economic criteria and the ability of the nation to assume the obligations of EU membership (EU law or the acquis). The opinions also took into account their efforts in implementing their obligations under the current Association Agreements.

Moreover, Commission President von der Layen mentioned in the statement, “Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia share the strong and legitimate aspiration of joining the European Union.”

“Today, we are sending them a clear signal of support in their aspirations, even as they face challenging circumstances. And we do so standing firm on our European values and standards, setting out the path they need to follow in order to join the EU.”

“The Commission’s opinions notes an inflection point in our relations. Indeed, this is a historic day for the people of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. We are confirming that they belong, in due time, to the European Union. The next steps are now in the hands of our Member States.”

Along with this, the application process has been finalised in record time. The Council invited the Commission to submit its opinions on the applications on March 7, only after ca a week after nations had submitted their applications. The countries filled in within 1-2 months the two parts of the Commission.

This was apparently possible thanks to the technical support the Commission gave them, which also used its own data about the three countries. However, a senior Commission official admitted at a technical briefing for accredited journalists that the Commission still has to finalise its analysis of its compliance with European Union law.

Furthermore, the commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, stated, “We expect member states to take forward decisions in the coming days, but our partner countries should already start working to deliver on their side on the key reforms outlined in our recommendation. This is crucial in order for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to move ahead on their EU path.”

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