Ukraine is set to become a formal candidate for membership in the European Union, according to ministers and diplomats, in a symbolic but moral decision after the Russian invasion.
EU leaders in Brussels are expected to sign last week ‘s recommendation by the European Commission, the EU’ s executive branch.
After several days of internal EU debates, no opposition has emerged between the 27 member states, three diplomats said.
“We are working to the point where we will tell Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine belongs to Europe, that we will also defend the values that Ukraine stands for,” Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told reporters ahead of a meeting with other EU ministers. .
But what would actually happen if Ukraine joined the European Union? The following is a summary of what a possible subscription would be like.
How does the process work?
Nomination is the beginning of a process that requires far-reaching reforms to comply with a range of standards, ranging from judicial policy to financial services and food safety.
However, the EU decision puts Kyiv on track to pursue an ambition that would have been unattainable a few months ago.
The process consists of several steps, including the adoption of all laws and regulations of the European Union. This usually takes several years.
Finally, the candidate country signs an accession treaty, which must be approved by all other EU countries.
What will happen if Ukraine joins the European Union?
The European Union is primarily an economic and political organization, not a military alliance like NATO.
This means that accession will not necessarily lead EU member states to take up arms directly in the war with Russia.
However, accession can make a big economic difference, as it did with Bulgaria and Romania, whose GDP has doubled and almost tripled since joining the EU.
In addition, there are military benefits. The EU has a mutual defense clause, which stipulates that if an EU country falls victim to an armed attack on its territory, other EU countries have an obligation to help and assist it with all the means at their disposal.
Although the candidate’s status is largely symbolic, the move will help raise national morale at a very difficult time in a four-month conflict that has killed thousands, displaced millions and leveled towns and cities.
If accepted, Ukraine would be the largest EU country by region and the fifth most populous.
Who supports it?
In addition to the 27 European member states that agreed on Ukraine’s candidacy, US President Joe Biden also spoke of the possible annexation of the war-torn country, saying it was “very likely to happen”.
“Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“We want them to live the European dream with us.”
The Dutch government has said it will support Ukraine’s candidate status in the EU, calling the European Commission’s advice a “smart compromise”.
“[Candidate status] “It’s the right solution from a moral, economic and security point of view,” said Romanian President Klaus Johannes, along with his French counterpart Emanuel Macron.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he believed all members of the European Union would support Ukraine’s accession to the EU, adding: “It’s like going from light to darkness.”
How did Russia react?
In a speech full of complaints in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin hit the West and the United States in particular, but tried to downplay the EU issue.
“We have nothing against him,” he said.
“It is not a military bloc. It is the right of any country to join the economic union.”
He also questioned whether it was “appropriate” for the EU to allow Ukraine to join, saying Kyiv would need huge financial subsidies that other EU members may be reluctant to provide.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peshkov said Russia was closely monitoring Ukraine’s bid for the EU, especially in light of increased defense co-operation between the 27-member bloc.
Which roadblocks are in front?
While the recommendation marks a strategic shift eastward from the EU in the run-up to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Kyiv would probably take years to join the 27-nation bloc, if at all.
EU membership is not guaranteed after the talks – talks have been stalled for years with Turkey, a candidate since 1999.
“Ukraine has already implemented about 70 percent of EU rules, regulations and standards. However, significant work remains to be done on the rule of law, the oligarchs, the fight against corruption and fundamental rights,” he said. Mrs. Von der Leyen.
In addition, Ukraine and Moldova, another candidate country, are much poorer than the existing EU members, with a per capita output of about half that of today’s poorer Bulgaria.
They also have recent stories of unstable politics, corruption, organized crime and clashes with Russian-backed separatists.
How likely is it to happen really soon?
In order to become a member, Ukraine will have to carry out economic and political reforms, and the bloc is unlikely to accept a country at war.
In times of peace, Poland, Ukraine’s neighbor with a similar population size and communist history, took 10 years from applying for membership in 1994 to actual membership in 2004.
Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, some of the most recent members, took about 10 years to leave their candidate status, so it may take some time for Ukraine to formally join the union.
Reuters / ABC
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