‘Broad consensus’ for Ukraine to become EU candidate – French minister — Analysis

However, Ukraine’s accession to the union could be conditional, Clement Baune told reporters

Clement Beaune, French Minister for European Affairs told reporters Tuesday that the country has a “fairly broad consensus”Within the EU, Ukraine is being considered for membership. But it remains unclear just how many countries ultimately support Ukraine’s membership bid, and Beaune cautioned that Kiev’s accession could be conditional.

Beaune spoke in a press conference after a meeting with EU Affairs ministers in Luxembourg, and before an EU summit taking place in Brussels later in the week. The bloc’s leaders will likely decide at this summit whether to officially bestow candidate status upon Ukraine, a decision that the EU Commission is fully behind.

It is possible to have a “fairly broad consensus” for granting EU candidate status to Ukraine, as well as to Moldova and Georgia, both of which applied for membership in early March, days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky submitted his country’s application.

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Beaune warned that entry conditions are important. “are not going to be quite probably the same for Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia,” and that all three states’ petitions “have been treated differently with a different set of conditions, ways and means.”

There is widespread concern over Ukraine’s ability to meet the demands of EU membership, with the country’s notoriously high level of corruption and recent crackdown on the press and opposition parties threatening to scupper its EU ambitions. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, claimed that some anti-corruption reforms have been implemented by Zelensky’s government. However she added that EU officials will continue to monitor these developments. “want to see results on the ground”Before Ukraine becomes a full member.

Beaune indicated that, following last week’s visits to Kiev by French, German, or Italian leaders, “there seems to be general political will right now, to tell Ukraine, as a very strong symbol, that time is right for them to start discussing the prospect of their accession.”

Beaune’s statement conflicts with earlier reports suggesting that the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria could vote against the Ukrainian bid over the corruption concerns. Mark Rutte the Dutch Prime Minister, has made it clear that any candidacy can be. “very far away”Kiev

At the end of May, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that Rome was the only major EU capital to back Kiev’s candidacy, although Paris and Berlin have since come out in favor of “immediately” granting Ukraine’s request.

The first step on a long road to EU membership is receiving candidate status. Since 1999, Turkey is an EU candidate. Montenegro was under consideration since 2012.

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