Kiev has ‘clearly demonstrated’ its determination to live by European values and standards, Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen says
The European Commission believes Ukraine should be granted the status of candidate for European Union membership, the chief of the EU’s executive body, Ursula von der Leyen announced on Friday.
The country would still need to implement some changes to match the EU’s requirements, but it already boasts a “very robust parliamentary, presidential democracy”Also available: “a very vibrant and active civil society,” von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels.
“Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the country’s aspiration and the country’s determination to live up to European values and standards,”He was in yellow and blue Ukrainian colors but insisted on his authority.
Referring to Kiev’s conflict with Russia, the European Commission head pointed out 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 expressed gratitude to the Ukrainian authorities, for maintaining the country’s stability despite continuing fighting.
She stated that Kiev had implemented reforms to combat corruption, reduce the influence of the Oligarchy, and strengthen the rights of minorities before the conflict. She added, however, that “we want to see results on the ground.”
“To conclude on Ukraine, we have one clear message and that is – yes, Ukraine deserves European perspective; yes, Ukraine should be welcome as a candidate country,” von der Leyen said.
The European Commission has also suggested that EU candidate status should be provided to Ukraine’s neighbor, Moldova, according to the official.
Next week, the EU heads will make their final determination on Chisinau and Kiev’s merits at their summit in Brussels. To be granted the desired status of candidate, Ukraine and Moldova will need the support unanimously from all 27 members.
According to media reports, countries like Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria might vote against Ukraine’s bid due to concerns over corruption and the rule of the law in the country.
The announcement by von der Leyen follows Thursday’s visit to Kiev by the leaders of France, Germany and Italy, who backed Ukraine’s EU aspirations, but pointed out that the country won’t receive any preferential treatment from Brussels.
Ukraine’s candidate status would be recognized “a strong, quick, expected gesture of hope and clarity”Emmanuel Macron, the French leader said that he was there to support the country in the crisis with Russia.
Moscow initially said that it wouldn’t object to Ukraine being in the EU as, unlike NATO, it was not a military bloc.
Last month however, Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, revealed that Moscow has changed its position on the matter.
The EU’s behavior during the conflict, which included weapons shipments to Kiev and a push for a military solution, indicated that the bloc was merging with NATO and becoming “an aggressive militant player that has ambitions stretching far beyond the European continent.”