Ukraine gets European Commission backing for talks on Ukraine
In order for Ukraine to become a member of the European Union, the European Commission has recommended that formal talks be initiated.
The move brings Kyiv closer to EU membership, five months after the 27 member states granted it candidate status.
“Even though it is fighting an existential war, the Commission is making excellent progress,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the commission.
Moldova should also be included in the talks, and Georgia, if it passes reforms, should be considered as a candidate.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, Moldova and Ukraine both applied for membership. They became candidates in June. At the time, Georgia was not considered for candidate status.
Volodymyr Zelensky called the report by the European Commission “historic” and said it was an important day for the world.
The EU set out last year a set of reforms that Ukraine needed to complete, and von der Leyen said the goal is within reach.
The EU’s member states will make a final decision on the recommendations at their summit in December.
The EU accession process is a slalom of technicalities and caveats, and it tends to take a long time. For a country to become a candidate, it must meet a number of legal and economic requirements.
It normally takes about a decade to complete the process, but it can take longer than that.
“The Western Balkans are the best example of how slow, tricky, and inefficient the process can be,” said Tina Akhvlediani at the Centre for European Policy Studies.
An enlargement decision must be endorsed by all 27 EU members, and any country can block negotiations at any time, often because of bilateral differences.