What does the EU want from Ukraine in exchange for its candidacy in the Union

What the EU wants from Ukraine in exchange for its candidacy in the Union

On June 17, the European Commission (EC) officially recommended granting Ukraine the status of a candidate member of the European Union . The final decision will be made by the EU Council after 19 June. “Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live the European dream with us,” said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

We will accept, but with the condition…

< p>But for this, Kyiv must fulfill a number of conditions. Here is a list of them:

  • adopt and implement legislation on the procedure for selecting judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, including the process of preliminary selection based on an assessment of their integrity and professional qualities, in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission;
  • complete the verification of the integrity of candidates for members of the High Council of Justice by the Ethics Council and the selection of a candidate for the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine;
  • strengthen the fight against corruption, in particular at the highest level, including through proactive and effective investigations;
  • complete the appointment of a new head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, as well as launch and complete the selection and appointment of a new director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine ;
  • ensure compliance of anti-money laundering legislation with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF);
  • adopt a comprehensive strategic plan for the reform of the law enforcement sector as part of the security system of Ukraine;
  • implement an anti-oligarchic a law to limit the excessive influence of oligarchs on economic, political and social life;
  • combat the “influence of vested interests” by enacting a media law;
  • complete the reform of the legal framework for national minorities, which is currently being prepared in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

The conditions are feasible

Are these conditions feasible for Ukraine? According to von der Leyen, Ukraine has already implemented about 70% of all necessary rules, norms and standards.

“We want to say one thing – yes, Ukraine deserves a European perspective. Yes, Ukraine should be accepted as a candidate. We take into account that a lot of work has been done, but we still have other important work to do. The process is proceeding in accordance with the procedure, the speed of progress depends entirely from Ukraine. Everything is in the hands of Ukraine,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

The decision on Ukraine's candidate status still needs to be approved by all 27 EU member states. The final verdict on this issue will be made by the leaders of the EU member states at the summit on June 23-24.

Political scientist Oleg Sahakyan is sure that there is nothing impossible for Kyiv in these requirements.

– The implementation of these points depends solely on the political will and readiness of the Ukrainian leadership. There is not a single point that would be impossible for us, which makes them quite realistic. Some of these requirements may even be fulfilled in the coming days – they will be voted by the Verkhovna Rada. That is, the entire list of EU requirements is quite an adequate list. In general, we can say that Europe in this matter does not put a spoke in our wheels. This is an absolutely predictable and minimal package of requirements, which is even perceived by the Ukrainian skeptical part of the European society, – the expert believes.

But EU membership is still very far away

However, experts note that even if the Council will finally approve granting Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate countries, it may take many years for them to join the EU. Now five states already have this status: Albania (since 2014), North Macedonia (since 2005), Montenegro (since 2008), Serbia (since 2009) and Turkey (since 1999). All of them are still quite far from full-fledged EU membership.

According to the BBC, if Ukraine does receive the status of a candidate country, it will be the fastest such decision in history. Kyiv filed a formal application for EU membership in late February, immediately after the Russian invasion, and in April the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, gave Zelensky a special questionnaire for candidate countries.

Ukrainian authorities admit that they need to conduct important reforms, including to fight corruption. However, they insist that this problem is exaggerated.

“Yes, there are problems. There are problems in many countries, including many countries of the European Union,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the Dutch NOS channel. – And I understand that some things, some reforms still need to be carried out, and we want to do this – and by the way, not for the European Union, but for ourselves. And we need to do this, we want to do this, it takes time. But and you will not become a member of the European Union tomorrow.”

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