Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Ukraine is continuing its push for a quick path to EU membership, but parts of the bloc remain sceptical about the plan.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen previously expressed support for a speedy Ukrainian accession by granting the country a candidate status, according to The Guardian reporting on Friday.
Nonetheless, parts of the bloc are not convinced and some member states pointed out that it is not clear how an accession process could start before the leaders’ summit slated for later this month.
“It will be very hard to say no, but it will be even harder to say yes,” an EU diplomat familiar with the matter pointed out.
The decision on allowing Ukraine to take a shortcut will come down to EU leaders at the coming summit, with France and Germany carrying the most weight.
Olga Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, noted during her European tour in Paris that Ukraine is disappointed with the lack of urgency on the EU’s part.
“If European leaders keep going in the same way they were before 24 February, in terms of speed, ambiguity and a lack of willingness to irritate [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, this would be a major failure of Europe as a project,” she stated.
Ukraine wants more than promises
“Ukraine wants a legal commitment and not a political promise,” Stefanishyna pointed out and reminded that the country was promised a path to NATO membership in 2008, which the West did not fulfil.
“There have been three wars since 2008, so we call on leaders to refrain from more political promises, and instead to start the legal decisions which would pave the way for a European track for Ukraine and ensure we are members of the European family,” she concluded.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated last month that the EU should grant candidate status to Ukraine immediately “within the framework of a special shortened procedure for obtaining EU membership.”
Von der Leyen supported his proposal and presented Zelenskyy with a questionnaire as the first stage of the accession process.
“Dear Volodymyr, my message today is clear: Ukraine belongs in the European family,” she stated and added “we have heard your request, loud and clear… and today, we are here to give you a first, positive answer.”