Volodymyr Zelenskyj is confident. Ukrainian President says he hopes to get in for his country “In the coming weeks” the status of a candidate for membership of the European Union. “Basically, our people have long been mentally in Europe. Despite everything, every country must follow this procedure.”he said at a press conference on Monday April 18.
The President also on Monday sent EU Ambassador to Ukraine Matti Maasikas two voluminous files representing Ukraine’s application for membership of the European Union. “It’s an honor to receive from @ZelenskyyUa the replies to the @European Commission questionnaire submitted by @vonderleyen just 10 days ago.”commented Ambassador Matti Maasikas in a message on his Twitter account.
Another step on Ukraine’s EU path. Honored to receive from @ZelenskyyUa the answers to it @EU_Commission Questionnaire presented by @vonderleyen just 10 days ago. Extraordinary times require extraordinary steps and extraordinary speed. @Denys_Shmyhal @StefanishynaO @AndriyYermak pic.twitter.com/UaNPOrhPST
— Matti Maasikas (@MattiMaasikas) April 18, 2022
Usually obtaining EU candidate status “takes years” but Brussels “really gave us the opportunity to start this process within a few weeks or months”. “We firmly believe that this process will be initiated in the coming weeks”assured the President of Ukraine, believing that it would be there “an important sign” for the friendship between Kyiv and Brussels. “We are confident that we will be supported in this work.” according to him “Ukrainians are united behind this goal: to feel equal to other Europeans, to be part of the European Union”.
The European Commission must now verify whether Ukraine meets the criteria for EU membership and make a recommendation to the member states. In this respect, integration into the European Union is a long-term process to bring the legislation of the candidate country closer to European law. This requires complex negotiations on many issues and criteria that are difficult for a country at war to meet, such as political stability and a functioning market economy.
In addition, the unanimous approval of the 27 member countries is required. However, they disagree on the question of Ukraine’s future membership. Eight countries (Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) issued an open letter calling for talks to start on joining this former Soviet republic, which was occupied by Russia on February 24. But a third of member states, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, are more “reserved”according to a diplomatic source contacted by AFP.