EOn Friday, the day after the trip to Kyiv by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his colleagues from Italy, France and Romania, Ukraine can hope for further support for its ambitions to join the EU. Around noon, the EU Commission in Brussels wants to make its recommendation on how to deal with the Ukrainian application for EU membership. There will also be recommendations and analyzes of Moldova’s and Georgia’s applications for membership.
According to information from the German Press Agency from the night, the authority, headed by Ursula von der Leyen, will probably advocate giving Ukraine and Moldova the status of EU accession candidates. At the same time, according to information from Commission circles, it should be made clear that further progress in the accession process should be linked to specific conditions. Ukraine is therefore concerned with progress in the rule of law and in the fight against corruption.
According to Commission sources, Georgia, which is also aiming to join the EU, will only be granted candidate status after certain conditions have been met. Like Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, the country would initially only be a potential candidate for accession.
Based on the recommendation of the EU Commission, the EU states must decide how to proceed. The views of the governments on the subject have so far diverged widely. According to diplomats, countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands consider the granting of candidate status to the three states in Eastern Europe to be premature and purely symbolic.
Germany wants Ukraine as an EU candidate
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and French President Emmanuel Macron, on the other hand, spoke in Kyiv on Thursday in favor of Ukraine becoming a candidate for accession. Germany and France argue that candidate status does not prejudge the admission decision, nor is it associated with a time frame. For example, Turkey has been a candidate for accession since 1999.
Scholz said on Thursday evening in the ZDF “heute journal” that Ukraine’s path to the EU was “a very demanding one” that could also take “a very long time”. However, the status as a candidate for accession means that hope on the way to Europe becomes concrete for the people of Ukraine. Regarding the time horizon, the SPD politician said that no one could seriously answer that. “But it’s worth it, that’s the message.”
On ZDF and ARD, the chancellor named progress in the rule of law and the fight against corruption as prerequisites for EU accession. Scholz and Macron traveled to Kyiv on Thursday with Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.