Recommendation from Brussels: EU Commission for the Candidate Country of Ukraine

Status: 06/17/2022 14:33

The European Commission recommends officially nominating Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for EU membership. This was said by Commission President von der Leyen. However, she also called for reforms in the countries.

The European Commission is in favor of the official nomination of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova as candidates for accession to the European Union. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Brussels that Ukraine had clearly stated its desire to live by European values ​​and standards and should therefore be granted candidate status.

“Ukrainians are ready to die for this European perspective,” von der Leyen said, referring to Russia’s offensive war against the country. We want to enable them to live the European dream.

However, Von der Leyen made “other important reforms” in the Länder a condition. For Georgia, which is also seeking to join the EU, it has so far only recommended a “European perspective”. Tbilisi should be granted candidate status only if certain conditions are met.

The European Commission is recommending candidate status to Ukraine

Kerstin Palzer, ARD Berlin, daily news at 12:00, June 17, 2022

Baerbock also calls for reforms in the EU

The federal government also agreed. “Ukraine also defends the values ​​of Europe. For this reason alone, the EU must not slam the door,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wrote on Twitter. The Russian War is a historic turning point for the continent, she stressed. “How we decide now will shape the situation in Europe for a long time, even if the accession process remains long and tedious.” The same goes for Moldova.

“But it will not be enough to put more chairs in a circle in Brussels,” Baerbock said, calling for reforms in the EU. “It is time to continue building the EU” and, among other things, to “abandon unanimity in foreign policy”.

EU countries have yet to agree

The Brussels office thus lays the groundwork for a possible decision by the EU member states. The heads of state and government want to discuss the issue at a summit in late June. All Member States must agree to enter into appropriate talks.

In the first response, Ukraine expressed gratitude for the European Commission’s initiative. This will help the country in the war against Russia. The head of state and government of the EU is now expected to approve the proposal, said the office of President Volodymyr Zelenský.

Michael Grytz, ARD Brussels, on a recommendation from the European Commission

Tagesschau 17:00, 17.6.2022

Rule of law and corruption problems

The procedure now proposed by the European Commission envisages granting candidate status to the EU Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, the Authority considers that further progress in the accession process should be subject to specific conditions. In both countries, there are shortcomings in the rule of law and in the fight against corruption.

Ukraine, with a population of more than 40 million, applied for EU membership about three and a half months ago, shortly after the Russian attack began. Shortly afterwards, Moldova’s and Georgia’s small neighbors in south-eastern Europe also applied for membership. Moldova recently had a population of about 2.6 million, Georgia about 3.7 million.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called for a speedy grant of EU candidate status to Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, during a visit to Kiev on Thursday.

skepticism between member countries

Based on the Commission’s recommendation, the EU states must now decide how to proceed. So far, governments have differed widely. Countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands consider the granting of candidate status to Eastern European countries to be premature and purely symbolic. Another argument of skeptics is that the EU, with its principle of unanimity on matters such as foreign and security policy, is already considered cumbersome. They first urge internal reforms before opening the door to new members.

Germany and France, on the other hand, claim that candidate status does not prejudge admission decisions and is not linked to a time frame. Turkey, for example, has been a candidate for accession since 1999.

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