Ukraine - EU: Better late than never
Ukraine's path to EU membership is on the horizon, though it will take time and demand patience. The European Commission will propose to the European Council that accession talks with Ukraine should start, as they are slated to kick off in December
The conditions for their start include boosting the roles of National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) and giving more rights to national minorities. I wouldn't make a big deal about the last demand. The main "minority" causing issues for Ukrainian statehood was the pro-Putin group identifying with Russia, no matter the language they spoke. It's doubtful this group will assert its "rights."
On the flip side, the ethnic Hungarian minority, for example, doesn't have much impact on Ukraine's security.
Yet, post the commencement of this phase, the challenges escalate:
- There's a need to align Ukrainian societal norms with EU standards, closely overseen by Brussels.
- Engage in tense but professional negotiations for Ukrainian economic sectors to access the European market (joining the EU later makes this more challenging).
- Upholding democracy. This was straightforward until recently, given Ukraine's evident democratic status. However, recent circumstances have eroded this. Swift restoration is crucial.
And, by the way, regarding the terms.
European observers and politicians generally set a deadline of 2030, seen as an optimistic projection. Croatia, having joined the European Union a decade ago, serves as a benchmark. While certain mechanisms are promised in Europe to streamline Ukraine's accession (like concurrently addressing political and technical aspects), the ongoing war implies that the process won't be swift.
Certainly, a quicker process is desired. However, achieving this required declaring Ukraine's unwavering commitment to the EU and NATO in the 1990s, rather than navigating between Europe and Russia and ending up in the "neutrality" deadlock. Past missed opportunities aside, priorities are now established. Albeit at a significant cost. Better late than never.
About the author. Serhiy Taran, political scientist.
The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.