Ukraine can enjoy some membership benefits even before joining EU – Metsola
The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, believes that Ukraine could receive the benefits of EU membership even before joining, such as free roaming, removal of trade barriers, access to universities and internal markets
This was reported by The Guardian.
She believes that Ukraine and other EU candidate countries could receive some of the benefits of EU membership before they actually join the bloc.
Candidate countries can access free roaming for mobile phones in the EU, a popular policy that means that when on holiday in the EU, mobile phone charges will be the same as at home.
"If we are going to extend roaming to those countries, let’s do that," she said. "The network operators are ready to do that."
Trade barriers could be removed for businesses.
"Pre-accession also means access to funds, access to universities, access for students, the possibility to tap into the internal market, whether we do import and export tariffs," she said. "We said for years Ukraine could not be connected to the European electricity grid. It took us days to do that once the war started. At the end of the day it was always about political will.”
In particular, she suggested that the agreement could cover agriculture, noting that Ukraine is a major supplier of poultry to some EU countries.
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.
On September 8, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said that negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU should begin by the end of this year. According to him, clear European perspective will inspire Ukrainians on the battlefield.
On September 21, the head of the Servant of the People parliamentary faction, Davyd Arakhamia, said that the Ukrainian parliament has passed 99.9% of what is needed to start negotiations on EU membership.