Ukraine’s Ambitions for EU Membership Receive Important Boost
The European Commission has recommended that detailed negotiations for Ukraine’s accession into the European Union should begin next year, providing a significant boost to Ukraine’s ambitions of joining the EU. This recommendation comes after Ukraine was accepted as a candidate state by the EU nearly 18 months ago. The same report also suggests that accession talks with Moldova, which borders Ukraine, should begin.
Ukraine’s Long-standing Ambitions
Ukraine has held ambitions of joining the EU for over a decade. However, political decisions and external factors have posed challenges. In late 2013, Ukraine faced protests and political upheaval following the then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to scrap a trade deal with the EU in favor of turning towards Russia. The subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 further complicated Ukraine’s aspirations. Joining the EU and NATO has been a formal part of Ukraine’s constitution since 2019.
Ukrainian President’s Response
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who applied for EU membership shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, welcomed the European Commission’s recommendation. Zelensky emphasized Ukraine’s commitment to European values, even during times of conflict, and expressed his belief that Ukrainians deserve to be part of the European Union. He stated that the necessary decisions are being made to move forward with the accession process.
Challenges on the Path to EU Membership
While the recommendation to open negotiations with Ukraine is a significant step, there are conditions that must be met before talks can begin. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine raises uncertainty about meeting these conditions in the near future. Additionally, the European Commission’s recommendation includes certain caveats, particularly regarding the issue of fighting corruption, which may be challenging for Ukraine to address at this moment.
Concerns and Western Support
Ukrainian officials have expressed concerns about attention shifting away from Ukraine towards other international crises, particularly the recent events in the Middle East. Western support for Ukraine has remained strong, with financial and military assistance, as well as support for joining Western institutions. However, differing opinions on Russia within NATO and the EU can complicate the decision-making process. Nevertheless, Ukraine has remained a priority for European institutions.
The Long Path to EU Membership
The European Commission’s recommendation marks a significant milestone for Ukraine, but it is only the beginning of a long path towards EU membership. The accession process could take up to a decade, and the political landscape may change significantly during that time. The future of both Ukraine and Europe remains uncertain, but this recommendation signifies a step forward in Ukraine’s aspirations.
Read More of this Story at www.cnn.com – 2023-11-08 15:31:00
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