Ukraine lands victory in EU vote on candidate standing

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Leaders from the European Union on Thursday voted to grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate standing to hitch the 27-member nation bloc in an essential step in the direction of full membership.

The choice is the primary of many steps wanted to grant the nations EU membership which can allow them to share deeper financial integration and political cooperation.

Although the EU isn’t a navy alliance, it would additionally allow larger safety ties and cement Ukraine as an impartial democratic nation within the wake of Russia’s conflict efforts.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, center, and French President Emmanuel Macron, right, speak with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, June 23, 2022. European Union leaders are expected to approve Thursday a proposal to grant Ukraine a EU candidate status, a first step on the long toward membership. The stalled enlargement process to include Western Balkans countries in the bloc is also on their agenda at the summit in Brussels. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, middle, and French President Emmanuel Macron, proper, converse with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz throughout a spherical desk assembly at an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, June 23, 2022. European Union leaders are anticipated to approve Thursday a proposal to grant Ukraine a EU candidate standing, a primary step on the lengthy towards membership. The stalled enlargement course of to incorporate Western Balkans nations within the bloc can also be on their agenda on the summit in Brussels. (AP Photograph/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
(AP Photograph/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

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President of the European Council Charles Michel referred to as the transfer “historic” and stated, “Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU.”

“Congratulations [President Volodymyr Zelenskyy] and [President Maia Sandu] and the people of Ukraine and Moldova,” he added. “Our future is together.”

The vote Thursday got here just below every week after President of the European Fee Ursula von der Leyen threw her weight behind Kyiv and really helpful it for candidate standing. 

However Ukraine nonetheless faces a number of hurdles it should leap by earlier than it will possibly formally be a part of the EU nation bloc.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy formally requested EU membership days after Russia invaded on Feb. 24.

However the war-torn nation will now must show it stands as much as the financial and democratic requirements required by the union that was first created within the aftermath of World Struggle II.

It’s unclear if the EU will anticipate Ukraine to show the identical degree of financial stability it has demanded from different nations in search of membership, however some have warned in opposition to prioritizing Kyiv over different candidates. 

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Austrian ministers Alexander Schallenberg and Karoline Edtstadler reportedly despatched a letter final month to the EU’s prime diplomat Joseph Borrell warning in opposition to preferential remedy for Ukraine. 

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Saturday, June 18, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends meeting with military officials as he visits the war-hit Mykolaiv region. 

On this picture supplied by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Workplace on Saturday, June 18, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends assembly with navy officers as he visits the war-hit Mykolaiv area. 
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Workplace by way of AP)

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“Particularly against the background of the war in Ukraine, we have to remain vigilant and give the same priority to the Western Balkans as to Ukraine,” the pair wrote in response to a CNBC report. “We cannot allow ourselves to create first and second-class candidates.”

A number of nations like Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have been EU candidates for years.

Turkey has additionally sought to hitch the EU block since 1999, although considerations over its human rights file has stored it from becoming a member of the union. 

Georgia, which has additionally requested to hitch the EU, was knowledgeable Thursday that after it meets particular necessities the member nations have agreed to grant it candidate standing as nicely.

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It took some nations greater than a decade to fulfill the EU requirements for membership, together with Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia which reportedly joined a decade after their official purposes had been submitted. 

Ukrainian and EU flags on poles, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, June 23, 2022. European Union leaders on Thursday are set to grant Ukraine candidate status to join the 27-nation bloc, a first step in a long and unpredictable journey toward full membership that could take many years to achieve. 

Ukrainian and EU flags on poles, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, June 23, 2022. European Union leaders on Thursday are set to grant Ukraine candidate standing to hitch the 27-nation bloc, a primary step in an extended and unpredictable journey towards full membership that would take a few years to attain. 
(AP Photograph/Nariman El-Mofty)

The EU chief stated final week that Ukraine has already carried out roughly 70 % of EU “rules, norms and standards” however famous that Kyiv had some extra work to do relating to “the rule of law, oligarchs, anti-corruption and fundamental rights.”

Ukraine might want to solidify roughly 80,000 pages value of EU laws earlier than it may be deemed a worthy candidate to formally be a part of the bloc.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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