Leaders of 8 European countries urged to immediately grant Ukraine the status of an EU candidate country

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The leaders of 8 European countries called for immediate granting Ukraine the status of an EU candidate country

In connection with Russia's aggression, they reaffirmed their full solidarity with Ukraine and its people.

On Monday, February 28, the presidents of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia in an open letter called for immediate granting Ukraine the status of an EU candidate country. This happened after President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for membership in the European Union, which he asks to consider under a special procedure – as soon as possible.

The text of this appeal was published on the official website of Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausedi.

Summoning Eight Leaders

In a joint statement, the leaders of eight European countries expressed their conviction that “Ukraine deserves an immediate prospect of joining the EU.”

“We call on EU member states to consolidate the highest political support for Ukraine and enable EU institutions to take steps to immediately grant Ukraine the status of an EU candidate country and start the negotiation process,” the document says.

Also, the leaders of these countries, in connection with the aggression of Russia, confirmed “full solidarity with Ukraine and its people.”

Ukraine and the EU

So far, Ukraine has not been recognized as an official candidate for EU membership, although it has been part of an association agreement with the EU since 2017.

On Sunday, February 27, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a comment to Euronews that Ukraine “is one of us, and we want it to be in the European Union.”

At the same time, she suggested that our country's accession will not be instant, as this process will include the integration of the Ukrainian market into the EU market. However, she noted that Ukraine is now closely cooperating with the European Union in the energy sector.

Membership

The official website of the EU notes that obtaining EU membership is “a complex procedure that does not happen overnight.” A country can only apply when it satisfies certain conditions, including having a free market economy and a stable democracy, as well as the adoption of all EU legislation, as well as the transition to the euro currency.

The submitted application for EU membership must be assessed by the European Commission for compliance with these criteria. If the Commission's assessment is favorable, the European Council must unanimously agree on a formal framework for negotiations, which then take place between the ministers and ambassadors of the EU governments and the candidate country.

“Because of the huge volume of EU rules and regulations that each candidate country must adopt as national legislation, it takes time to complete negotiations,” the EU explains.

Current Candidates

Currently, five countries are in the process of integrating EU legislation into national legislation: Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. Two other states, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, are classified as “potential candidates” because they do not yet meet the criteria for applying for membership.

Recall, the European Council on Monday, February 28, agreed on a new set of measures by which the European Union is trying to contain the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and the subsequent escalation of the conflict.

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