HISTORY Candidate status for the European Union granted Thursday to Ukraine and Moldova by the Twenty-Seven

War in Ukraine: The Twenty-Seven grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status

The status of candidate for the European Union granted Thursday to Ukraine and Moldova by the Twenty-Seven. Illustrative image. — Ludovic MARIN/AFP

An agreement already historical. The leaders of the Twenty-Seven recognized this Thursday at; Ukraine and to Moldova candidate status; the European Union, announced the President of the European Council Charles Michel, referring to a « historic moment », in the midst of the Russian offensive. This decision was immediately welcomed by Kyiv, taken at a summit of heads of state and government of EU countries in Paris. Brussels, marks the beginning of a long and complex process towards membership.

War in Ukraine: The Twenty-Seven grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status

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The day of « today”s a crucial step on your way to the EU”, said Charles Michel on Twitter, congratulating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Moldovan President Maïa Sandu, and their peoples. “ We have a future together,” he said, also tweeting in the languages ​​of those countries.

For Georgia, this is not for any sequel

Georgia, which also aspires to join the EU, will still have to make reforms to obtain this status. The Twenty-Seven have nevertheless recognized the « perspective » to one day join the Union. “ Georgia’s future is within the EU » Charles Michel.

Leaders followed the Commission's opinions delivered last week on these three former Soviet republics. This European Council is « history », also declared German Chancellor Olaf Scholz  arriving at the summit. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia had filed their candidacy shortly after the outbreak of the war led by Moscow in Ukraine at the end of February. Never has the EU been as quick to granting this status, a new illustration of its solidarity; towards Kyiv and Chisinau.

Fast accession excluded?

Several representatives of member states nevertheless warned that the Ukrainians should not « have no illusions » on a quick adhesion. Emmanuel Macron had estimated in May that an accession of Kyiv would take « decades ». The Commission must make an initial assessment at the end of the year on the reforms required of the two countries, which concern in particular the fight against corruption and the independence of justice.

The next step , the opening of official negotiations, will require again the unanimity of the Twenty-Seven. These negotiations are still not open for North Macedonia and Albania, candidates since 2005 and 2014 respectively. Thursday their frustration over the slowness of their membership process.