accession question
EU candidate Ukraine: Brussels before a historic decision

Ursula von der Leyen

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) in conversation with Oliver Varhelyi (r), EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, and Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market. Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP/dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The Ukrainian President has been putting pressure on the EU for months. Again and again he calls for his country to become a candidate for the European Union. Today is the day of the decision.

the European Union decides at a summit meeting in Brussels today whether Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia, will be given the status of an EU accession candidate.

Before the deliberations of the Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his colleagues showed broad support for the corresponding recommendation of the EU Commission. However, a decision must be taken unanimously by all 27 states.

Shortly before the start of the two-day meeting, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned that the candidate status for the Ukraine to support. “It is now up to the European Council to decide and to live up to the historic responsibility we face,” she said. The process of admitting countries like Ukraine is based on merit. “But how we respond to their passion and progress is up to us.”

Georgia and Moldova also want to join

In addition to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova on a prospect of EU membership. According to the EU Commission’s recommendation for the summit, Moldova should also be given candidate status. Georgia should first meet reform requirements.

All three countries applied for EU membership shortly after Russia’s war against Ukraine began. Since then, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been pushing almost every day to officially make his country a candidate for the EU. Ukraine proves every day that it is already part of a unified European space of values, he argues.

However, even the status as an EU candidate would not mean that Ukraine and Moldova will be admitted to the EU in the near future. The European policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group,
Gunther Krichbaum (CDU) therefore called for RTL/ntv “an intermediate model, for example in the form of a so-called associated
Membership. “That means: The country would not yet have the right to vote, the country would not have other options yet, but it would probably be part of it.”

It is expected that the heads of state and government of the EU states will also discuss how Ukraine can continue in the war against Russia can be supported. Among other things, there is talk of making a further 500 million euros available for arms deliveries. In addition, it should be about the reconstruction of the country.

disagreements for years

Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas made it clear on Wednesday that she believes that the larger EU countries are currently the main players when it comes to military aid. «Estonia has done a lot and can’t really do much more. But I believe there are still opportunities to help them, from the larger member states,” said the prime minister of the Baltic EU and NATO country of 1.2 million people.

In the morning, a joint summit of the EU and the states of the western Balkans will deal with the EU prospects of Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro.

EU states such as Austria recently threatened to tie their approval of EU accession candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova to progress in efforts to expand the EU to include the Western Balkans. Specifically, there was a demand, among other things, for Bosnia-Herzegovina to be granted the status of an EU accession candidate.

The rapprochement of the Western Balkan countries to the EU has been progressing slowly for years, also due to differences of opinion and blockades by EU countries. For example, the EU country Bulgaria is currently preventing the start of accession talks with North Macedonia.