Brussels — The European Union agreed on Thursday to move Ukraine on the path to EU accession, acting with uncharacteristic speed and unity, turning a confused country into a confused country of Russia. Further separated from influence and more tightly restrained. To the west.
At the summit meeting in Brussels, leaders from 27 EU countries gathered the unanimous approval needed to qualify as a candidate for Ukraine. This initiates a process that can take years or even decades.
The EU has also given the status of a candidate to a small country in Moldova, another former Soviet state bordering Ukraine.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has declared this day a "good day for Europe".
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted his gratitude and declared that "Ukraine's future is in the EU".
Ukraine applied for membership less than a week after the invasion of Moscow on February 24th. Thursday's decision was very quick for the EU. However, the war and the request for immediate consideration of Ukraine have brought urgency to its cause.
To gain EU accession, countries must meet detailed economic and political conditions, such as the rule of law and commitment to other democratic principles. Ukraine, in particular, will have to curb established government corruption and adopt other reforms.
The European Parliament approved the Ukrainian bid hours before the summit began and passed a resolution calling on the EU government to "act without delay" and "fulfill its historical responsibilities."
"It will strengthen Ukraine and strengthen Europe. This is a decision of freedom and democracy, which puts us on the right side of history," said Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament. Metsola said prior to the final announcement.
EU countries have adopted unprecedented economic sanctions on the Kremlin and united to support Ukraine in the fight against Russia's gold and weapons aggression.
The status of EU candidates does not give you automatic rights to join the block and does not provide an immediate security guarantee.
However, once a country becomes a member, it is subject to the provisions of the Treaties of the European Union, and if a member state is the victim of an armed aggression, other EU countries are obliged to support that country by all means. ..
However, the main advantage of joining the EU is economic. This is due to access to a market of 450 million consumers who are free to move labor, goods, services and capital.
Ukraine has long wanted to join NATO, but the military alliance refused to offer an invitation due to government corruption, the shortcomings of defense facilities, and border conflicts. Is not ...
Before the war, Russian President Vladimir Puttin demanded that Ukraine be never allowed to participate in NATO, which accused Ukraine of spreading east toward the side of Russia. But earlier this month he didn't seem to be plagued by Ukraine's determination to approach the EU. He said it was not a military alliance and therefore "we do not dispute."
The membership process can be long and winding.
For example, Turkey had to apply for membership in 1987, acquire candidate status in 1999, and wait until 2005 to begin negotiations for actual entry. did. Since then, only one of the more than 30 "chapter" of negotiations has been completed, and the entire process has been halted as a result of various conflicts between the EU and Turkey.
Similarly, some Balkan countries have long unsuccessfully sought accession to the EU.
European officials say Ukraine has already adopted about 70% of EU regulations and standards, but also points out the need for national corruption and deep political and economic reforms.
"Especially the fight against corruption and the establishment of an effective rule of law require considerable effort," said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Crew. "But I am convinced that it is exactly the reconstruction of Ukraine (after the war) that offers the opportunity to take an important step."