War in Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky hopes to obtain the status of candidate to the European Union in a few weeks
Eva Deschamps / April 19, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday he hopes to obtain for his country in the coming weeks the status of candidate for membership in the European Union (EU), thanking Brussels for the speedy process.
At a meeting in Kiev, Mr. Zelensky handed over to the EU ambassador to Ukraine, Matti Maasikas, two voluminous files constituting Ukraine's application for membership in the European Union.
Our people have been in Europe mentally for a long time. Nevertheless, each country must follow this procedure, he said.
Usually, obtaining EU candidate status takes years but Brussels has really given us the opportunity to start this process within weeks or months, he said.
We are truly convinced that this procedure will be initiated in the coming weeks, said the President, believing that this would be an important signal for the friendship between Kiev and Brussels. We are convinced that we will be supported in this work.
Integration into the EU is a long-term process to bring the legislation of the candidate country closer to European law.
It requires complex negotiations on many issues and difficult criteria for a country at war, such as political stability and a viable market economy.
It also requires the unanimous agreement of the 27 member countries. However, they are divided on the question of the future membership of this former Soviet republic, invaded by Russia since February 24.
Eight countries - the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia - have called in an open letter for the opening of discussions on Ukraine's membership.
But a third of member states, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, are more reserved, according to a diplomatic source contacted by AFP.