The European Commission officially supports Ukraine as a candidate

Kyiv has ‘clearly demonstrated’ its determination to live by European values ​​and standards, says Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

The European Commission believes that Ukraine should be granted candidate status for European Union membership, EU Chief Executive Ursula von der Leyen announced on Friday.

The country would still need to implement some changes to meet EU requirements, but it already has a “very robust parliamentary, presidential democracy” as good as “a very dynamic and active civil society”, von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels.

“Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the country’s aspiration and determination to uphold European values ​​and standards,” insisted the official, dressed in Ukrainian blue and yellow.

Referring to kyiv’s conflict with Russia, the head of the European Commission stressed that “We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us, the EU.

Von der Leyen also praised the Ukrainian authorities for keeping the country going despite the ongoing fighting.

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EU leaders want immediate candidate status for Ukraine

She said that before the conflict, kyiv had already managed to implement reforms aimed at fighting corruption, reducing the influence of the oligarchy and strengthening the rights of minorities. However, she added that “We want to see results on the ground.”

“To conclude on Ukraine, we have a clear message: yes, Ukraine deserves a European perspective; yes, Ukraine should be welcome as a candidate country”, said von der Leyen.

The European Commission has also suggested that EU candidate status be granted to Ukraine’s neighbor Moldova, according to the official.

The final decision on whether Kyiv and Chisinau are worthy must be taken by EU government leaders at their summit in Brussels next week. Ukraine and Moldova would need the unanimous support of all 27 member states to receive the much-desired candidate status.

Media earlier claimed countries like the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria could vote against Ukraine’s bid due to concerns over corruption and the rule of law in the country.

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Ursula von der Leyen and Volodymyr Zelensky in kyiv, Ukraine, June 11, 2022.
Ukraine needs reform – EU

Von der Leyen’s announcement follows Thursday’s visit to Kyiv by French, German and Italian leaders, who backed Ukraine’s EU aspirations but stressed the country would not receive any preferential treatment from Brussels.

The granting of candidate status to Ukraine would become “a strong, rapid and long-awaited gesture of hope and clarity” for the country amid the conflict with Russia, French leader Emmanuel Macron has said.

Moscow initially said it would not object to Ukraine joining the EU because, unlike NATO, it was not a military bloc.

But last month Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov revealed that Moscow had changed its position on the issue.

EU behavior during the conflict, which included arms shipments to kyiv and pressure for a military solution, indicated that the bloc was merging with NATO and becoming “an aggressive militant actor whose ambitions go well beyond the European continent.


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