European Commission pushes for EU accession talks with Ukraine this month

Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen
Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen

The European Commission is set to recommend the start of EU accession talks with Ukraine this month, the Financial Times reported on June 7.

This move aims to show support for Ukraine ahead of Hungary’s assumption of the rotating EU presidency.

The European Commission is advocating for the start of formal talks with Kyiv and Chisinau this month to send a positive signal to both countries about their EU aspirations.

The EC is expected to announce on June 7 that Ukraine now meets previously unfulfilled criteria, including anti-corruption measures, restrictions on political lobbying, rules for declaring public officials' assets, and protection of languages used by national minorities.

Read also: EU aims for early start to Ukraine's membership talks in June

Brussels' recommendation requires unanimity among EU governments. Hungary is expected to object, citing, among other things, Kyiv's treatment of Ukraine's Hungarian minority.

Hungary will assume the rotating presidency of the EU on July 1, giving it additional leverage in setting the agenda for meetings where Ukraine-related issues will be discussed.

Read also: Moldova gears up for EU integration referendum this October

Ukraine's accession to the EU

Ukraine has implemented 65-70% of the Association Agreement with the EU, Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal said in a TV interview with Bloomberg in September 2022. At a press conference in Brussels, he added: "We have an ambition in the near future, by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, to move into the negotiation procedures that precede the actual granting of EU membership."

Read also: EU Ambassador reveals extent of Ukrainian generation destroyed by Russia

Shmyhal said in May 2023 that Ukraine should be ready to join the EU in two years.

The European Commission recommended starting negotiations on Ukraine and Moldova's accession to the EU on Nov. 8, 2023. The European Council supported the start of negotiations on Ukraine's EU membership with 26 votes on Dec. 14.

Ukraine could join the European Union in 2030, European Council President Charles Michel said previously.

Shmyhal said on March 20, 2024, that negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union should begin by the end of June this year.

EU Ambassador to Ukraine Katarína Mathernová said on April 25 that the country is ready to start negotiations on EU accession and expects them to begin in late June.

Read also: Macron seeks EU coalition to send military instructors to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on April 30 that Ukraine could start negotiations on joining the European Union as early as June.

Brussels officials are also pushing to start official talks on Ukraine's accession to the EU this month, Politico cited sources as saying on May 21.

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine