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Head of European Commission confirms Ukraine completes all steps to start EU accession talks

Von der Leyen believes that Ukraine deserves to start accession talks with the EU.

Head of European Commission confirms Ukraine completes all steps to start EU accession talks
European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen in the European Parliament, 28 February 2024
Photo: EPA/UPG

Ukraine has taken all the necessary steps to start negotiations on EU accession by the end of this month.

This was announced by the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, according to Yevropeyska Pravda.

Von der Leyen mentioned that Ukraine has approved a reform plan, the implementation of which is a condition for the allocation of multibillion-dollar EU macro-financial assistance in the coming years.

Therefore, she said, Ukraine deserves to be considered for accession talks with the EU.

"Ukraine has fulfilled all the steps we have set out. And that is why we believe that the EU should start accession talks with Ukraine by the end of this month,’ von der Leyen said.

  • Earlier, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that the European Commission had recommended starting accession talks with Ukraine.
  • Earlier, the Financial Times wrote that the European Commission would recommend that Ukraine and Moldova start negotiations on EU accession. The Commission believes that Kyiv has fulfilled the conditions necessary for the start of negotiations in the areas of anti-corruption, control over political lobbying, transparency of officials' wealth and the rights of national minorities.
  • Ukraine applied to join the European Union in February 2022, when the full-scale war began. 
  • On 23 June 2022, Ukraine was granted the status of a candidate for EU membership. Kyiv received a list of seven reforms from Brussels that were necessary for further European integration.
  • On 8 November 2023, the European Commission recommended starting negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU. The EC considered four of the seven requirements to be fully successful: the introduction of legislation on the procedure for selecting judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the completion of the integrity check of candidates for the High Council of Justice and the establishment of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine, the compliance of anti-money laundering legislation with FATF standards and the approval of a strategic plan for reforming the entire law enforcement sector, and media reform - bringing Ukrainian legislation in line with the European Union's However, the fight against corruption, legislation on national minorities, and reducing the influence of oligarchs still needed to be addressed. 
  • The political decision to start accession negotiations depends on all 27 EU member states. The main obstacle has been Hungary, which opposes Ukraine's accession and instead proposes some kind of cooperation agreement. Slovakia's pro-Russian Prime Minister Robert Fico has said that he does not believe Ukraine is ready for accession, but promised not to prevent the start of negotiations.
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