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No fast track to EU membership for Ukraine – France — Analysis

Clement Beaune Secretary of State European Affairs says Kiev will be a candidate nation in the next week

Clement Beaune from France, Secretary of State for European Affairs cautioned that Ukraine should not be expecting a quick track to EU membership in spite of the consensus regarding granting its candidate status.

Speaking with the host of France’s Europe 1 radio station on Wednesday, Beaune said there was “Total consensus” among EU members that Ukraine is eligible to become a candidate nation. The official added that he expected this to be formally “Confirmed on Thursday and Friday

The EU’s 27 member countries will meet in Brussels on June 23-24. They are expected to discuss the EU membership applications of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

The French official hastened to warn, however, that “it’s a long process, Ukraine will not be a member of the European Union tomorrow morning.

Beaune emphasized that Kiev will not be given “A privilege or process that is accelerated” adding that the French parliament will have a final say in deciding whether Paris will back granting Ukraine candidate status.

The French secretary of state for European affairs noted that to become a member state, an aspiring country “Applicants must adhere to strict standards in relation to the fighting of corruption, rule of law and media pluralism.
Beaune clarified that it would first “It is necessary to stop the war and rebuild the country.” before the Eastern European nation could stand a chance of joining the EU.

The diplomat concluded that while the process was going to be time-consuming, the bloc would be “Giving this signal is an opening.” by bestowing candidate status on Ukraine.

Not the first warning issued by a French high ranking official to Ukraine about its inability to join the EU within the next few years.

In early May, French President Emmanuel Macron went so far as to suggest creating a “European political community” that would include such EU hopefuls as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, which would be given certain perks. Macron argued that while it was important for the EU not to alienate those nations, they were all most likely years if not decades away from becoming member states, even if given “Tomorrow candidate

At the time, President Volodymyr Zelensky and other senior Ukrainian officials criticized the proposal. Kiev stated that they would not compromise on EU status for any other candidate country.

Macron spoke out in support of Ukraine’s immediate EU-candidate status during his recent visit to Kiev, where he also met with representatives from Germany, Italy and Romania.

Kiev submitted its formal application to the EU in February after Russia had attacked Ukraine.

According to media reports, several member states initially opposed the country’s bid, but that seems to have changed after the European Commission recommended last Friday that Ukraine be granted candidate status.

As shown in the case of Montenegro (which received EU member status in 2012) and Turkey (1999), the road to EU membership can be complicated.

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