Politics explained

What are the steps Ukraine has to take to join the EU?

We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective,” the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said in announcing the news that the commission has recommended Ukraine for EU candidate status. “We want them to live with us the European dream.”

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said the development was a “historic decision”. Moldova and Georgia also submitted applications in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Moldova also being granted candidate status. Georgia will have to wait a while longer.

The commission did not recommend imposing any conditions to be met before the formal granting of candidate status to Ukraine or to Moldova, so the decision now passes to the 27 heads of state and government, who will discuss the matter at a summit next week. While nations have been supportive of Ukraine, unanimous agreement is needed for the commission’s recommendation to be taken up. Portugal and the Netherlands are among the member states who have expressed some tentative misgivings about the granting of candidate status, given the length of the process and the potential that it could give rise to unrealistic expectations in Kyiv.


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