Espreso. Global

Start of EU membership talks: Ukraine’s government outlines next steps

23 September, 2023 Saturday
16:07
EU

The start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union will depend primarily on the political steps taken by member states

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Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna said this during a telethon.

Stefanishyna commented on a Bloomberg report that the European Commission is preparing to recommend starting negotiations with Ukraine on its EU membership, saying she was "a little sceptical" about such statements.

"Today there is a political consensus to open negotiations for Ukraine, but we still have a lot of political steps to take before this decision," she said.

The official explained that it is not only about implementing the seven recommendations of the European Commission, but also about discussing with each EU member state what is needed to "make sure that the vote of each state is counted for the decision to open negotiations in December."

"This is a huge job. Statements based on sources in the European Commission assume that we will both implement the seven recommendations and hold talks with the member states. If we can actually do this, it will happen," Stefanishyna concluded.

She also reminded that this week the Parliament and the Government had adopted decisions that "practically close the implementation of the seven recommendations" of the European Commission.

"But there are many issues that go beyond Ukrainian reforms. In particular, the fact that the Western Balkan countries, Moldova and Georgia are also trying to keep up with Ukraine and are also advocating for political solutions. We have done our part, and now we are going to move to the European level and start negotiating with individual countries," she said.

Ukraine's accession to the EU

Kyiv applied for EU membership on February 28, 2022, at the start of Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine.

On June 23, 2022, Ukraine was granted candidate status for EU membership.

In May, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine should be ready to join the EU in two years – the country expects to receive a political decision to start accession negotiations this year.

During a speech in parliament on Constitution Day, President Zelenskyy proposed five points of the Ukrainian Doctrine for discussion.

According to Espreso's sources, the European Parliament is considering the possibility of starting negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU this fall.

However, on August 17, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna said that Ukraine would not be able to implement all 7 EU recommendations by October, as these are changes that have been implemented over the years.

The next day, Maria Mezentseva, Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Ukraine's Integration with the EU, noted that it is necessary to wait for the October report of the European Commission on the implementation of 7 EU recommendations by Ukraine.

On August 28, European Council President Charles Michel said that the European Union should be ready to accept new member states by 2030. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, expressed support for setting a tentative time frame for new members to join the EU.


 
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