Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The EU officially opens accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova


President Zelensky called this day“History” The eagerly awaited opening of these talks in Kyiv on Tuesday is to be welcomed.

The EU officially opened accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova in Luxembourg on Tuesday.“History” In both Kiev and Brussels. Russia has tried by all means to prevent these two ex-Soviet republics from anchoring themselves in Europe in what promises to be a long and difficult accession process. “Over the past year, our country has been subject to hybrid attacks orchestrated by (…) Moscow in an attempt to derail the European integration process”On Tuesday, Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Risien denounced it in a speech to 27 people in Luxembourg.

“Historic Moment” To Charles Michel, President of the European Council, “Historic Day” To Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky: More than two years after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and in Chisinau, there is no shortage of superlatives to greet the eagerly awaited opening of these talks in Kyiv. In Ukraine, “90% people support us, we will make reforms” Need, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stepanyshina assured during a speech to twenty-seven ministers. She paused for a moment, then announced through her cell phone: “We have a warning in Kiev”She remembers coming from a country at war.

Open intergovernmental conferences

EU member states formally opened negotiations first with Ukraine and later in the afternoon with Moldova. The talks with Kyiv were the result of a hard-won deal by 26 EU countries, which forced the 27th, Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, to compete in wits to convince them not to block the process. The Hungarian prime minister strongly opposed any accession talks with Ukraine, judging that the country was not ready. Viktor Orbán finally agreed to leave the twenty-seven leaders’ summit schedule in December until his 26 counterparts decided to open accession talks with Kiev and Chisinau.

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Now that these intergovernmental conferences are open, negotiators will first review the laws of Ukraine and Moldova to check whether they are compatible with the EU. According to this, the “Screening” A diplomatic source explains that talks in Brussels typically last between one and two years. But in the case of Ukraine and Moldova, things happen faster “We already have a clear idea” The situation was underlined by this European diplomat on condition of anonymity. However, it will take weeks, even months, before the different negotiating chapters are actually opened. “Ukraine will be a member of the European Union and will be able to complete everything before 2030” assured the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister.

A long and arduous membership process

EU Heads of State and Government opened the way for these accession negotiations in mid-December 2023. But Budapest delayed formal talks with Kyiv until then, ruling that the terms were not reunified. “If I see what I see here as we speak, they (Ukrainians) are far from meeting the membership criteria”, Hungarian European Affairs Minister János Boca reiterated in Luxembourg on Tuesday. The European Commission, for its part, assessed on June 7 that Ukraine and Moldova met all the preconditions for such access.

The European Union granted Ukraine candidate status for membership in June 2022, months after a war sparked by Moscow and neighboring Moldova began. The opening of negotiations is only one step in a long and difficult accession process. Ukraine’s entry into the European Union, a country of more than 40 million people and an agricultural force, poses many difficulties, starting with the financial aid it must provide. The EU, for its part, plans to reform itself to cope with this expansion and improve its already complex governance and decision-making across 27 member states.

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