Report presented: EU Commission recommends accession negotiations with Ukraine

The EU Commission recommends starting accession negotiations with Ukraine.

Report presented: EU Commission recommends accession negotiations with Ukraine

The EU Commission recommends starting accession negotiations with Ukraine. Before the first round of talks, however, the country will have to complete the reforms it has started. This emerges from a report presented on Wednesday by the authority headed by Ursula von der Leyen. The German spoke of a “historic day”.

Based on new assessments, Moldova and, to a limited extent, Bosnia-Herzegovina can also hope for the start of EU accession negotiations. According to the EU Commission, Georgia should be able to obtain accession candidate status. This is the first step in the accession process.

If the governments of the EU states agree to the EU Commission's recommendation, accession negotiations could be held with a country at war for the first time in the history of the EU. Ukraine submitted its application to join the EU on February 28 last year, shortly after the start of the Russian invasion.

The heads of state and government of the EU states then granted the country candidate status on June 24, 2022. At the same time, it was agreed at the time that a decision on further steps would only be taken when seven criteria recommended by the EU Commission had been met.

They are about strengthening the fight against corruption – especially at high levels. The EU also demands that standards in the fight against money laundering be adhered to and that a law against the excessive influence of oligarchs be implemented.

Von der Leyen said during a visit to Kiev at the weekend that she knew that some reforms were still being worked on. However, she is confident that the ambitious goal of opening the accession negotiations process this year can be achieved. As examples of outstanding issues, she cited a more vigorous fight against corruption, the adoption of a new law on lobbying activities and the tightening of regulations on the declaration of assets.

Whether the EU Commission's recommendations will be implemented must now be decided unanimously by the EU states. Ukraine hopes that the heads of state and government of the EU countries will give their general consent to start accession negotiations at their last regular summit of the year on December 14th and 15th.

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