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HomeWorldEU names Ukraine candidate status at 'historic moment'
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EU names Ukraine candidate status at ‘historic moment’

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EU names Ukraine candidate status at ‘historic moment’

BRUSSELS: European leaders formally accepted Ukraine as a candidate to join the European Union on Thursday, a bold geopolitical move triggered by Russia’s invasion of Kyiv, but a reminder that the 27- The nation bloc will need a major overhaul as it seeks to expand again.

Although it may take more than a decade for Ukraine and neighboring Moldova to qualify for membership, the decision at the two-day EU summit is a symbolic move indicating the bloc’s intention to delve deeper into the former Soviet Union. .

“A historic moment,” tweeted the head of the European Council, Charles Michel. “Today is an important step on your path towards the European Union,” he said, adding that “our future is together.”

The move, which also gives Moldova candidate status, kick-starts the EU’s most ambitious expansion since it welcomed Eastern European states in the aftermath of the Cold War.

“Everyone in Ukraine is watching and waiting for this decision,” said Ivan Zychenko, a 34-year-old Ukrainian from the devastated city of Kharkiv who now lives in Brussels.

“It is very important to raise their morale,” he said, adding that a few dozen people chanted “Ukraine is Europe” at a rally outside the Brussels building where EU leaders were meeting.

Behind the winning rhetoric, however, there are concerns within the EU about how coherent the bloc can remain as it continues to expand.

Beginning in 1951 as an organization of six countries to regulate industrial production, the European Union now has 27 members that face challenges compounded by climate change and China’s rise to war at its doorstep. Is.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his “special military operation” launched in Ukraine in late February was partly necessitated by Western encroachment, which Russia marks as its true geographic area of ​​influence.

The EU’s green light “is a signal to Moscow that Ukraine, and other countries in the former Soviet Union also cannot belong to the Russian sphere of influence,” the EU’s ambassador to Ukraine Chentsov Vsevolod told Reuters earlier on Thursday.

“Ukrainian soldiers from the front lines are calling home and asking: What’s up with the position of our candidate? It’s amazing how important it is to the people of Ukraine.”

balkan despair

While Ukraine and Moldova were expected to be welcomed into the EU waiting room, Georgia was given “a European perspective”, but was told that it would have to meet conditions before winning candidate status.

Austerity over EU expansion has slowed progress towards membership for a group of Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia – whose leaders met their EU counterparts in Brussels in the morning. Had a meeting.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said when he arrived at a meeting with EU leaders ahead of the bloc’s summit: “Welcome to Ukraine, giving candidate status is a good thing, but I hope the Ukrainian people There won’t be much confusion about this.”

A draft of the summit statement showed that EU leaders would again make a “full and unequivocal commitment to the Western Balkans’ vision of EU membership”.

However, Ukraine’s fast track to formal candidate status has only served to heighten their sense of being sidelined, which puts the EU at risk that Russia and China increase their influence in the Balkan region. read more

“The more the EU does not give a unified and clear signal to the Western Balkans, the more deadly factors will use up that space and that void,” Kosovo’s President Vojosa Osmani said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said this week that the EU should “improve its internal processes” to prepare for the admission of new members, which require agreeing with a qualified majority rather than unanimously on key issues.

The need for consensus often frustrates the ambitions of the European Union because member states can withhold or curtail decisions.

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, EU names Ukraine candidate status at ‘historic moment’

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