Ukraine completes four steps to initiate negotiations for joining EU
Ukraine has successfully completed four out of the seven required steps to initiate negotiations for joining the European Union
This was reported by Radio Svoboda citing the European Commission's assessment.
The European Commission acknowledges that Ukraine has met the following criteria:
- Enacted legislation pertaining to the selection of judges for Ukraine's Constitutional Court, aligning with Venice Commission recommendations.
- Concluded integrity checks on potential members of the High Council of Justice and established the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine.
- Brought anti-money laundering laws in line with FATF standards and devised a strategic plan for reforming the entire law enforcement sector.
- Carried out reforms in the media industry to align Ukrainian legislation with the EU Directive on audiovisual media services.
However, the three remaining criteria require further implementation according to recommendations from the European Commission.
Strengthening the fight against corruption, including appointing a new head for the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office and NABU director.
The document states that Ukraine should be amending laws to increase the staff of NABU and remove restrictions that limit the NACP's powers in asset inspection.
Also, it is noted that Ukraine should approve a law on lobbying in line with European standards to reduce the influence of oligarchs in Ukraine.
Regarding legislation on national minorities, some of the reforms suggested by the Venice Commission have not yet been fully enacted. The European Commission stresses the importance of implementing these remaining changes, particularly related to laws on the state language, mass media, and education, as noted in the Commission's conclusions of June 2023 and October 2023.
The European Commission is scheduled to present an evaluation of Ukraine's progress in fulfilling the EU membership criteria on November 8.
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.