Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised the European Union more reforms ahead of an expected recommendation on Wednesday on the country’s EU accession negotiations. Ukraine is working to enact new laws and strengthen state institutions in order to introduce EU standards in the country, Zelensky said in his evening video message broadcast in Kyiv on Tuesday. “Ukraine will be in the European Union.”
Membership means “economic security and social stability” for Ukraine, Zelensky said. The country is surviving its battle against the Russian invasion thanks to billions of dollars in aid from the European Union.
The European Commission would like to present its report on the progress achieved by the reform process in Ukraine. The country attacked by Russia expects that there will be a recommendation to begin accession negotiations this year. The Heads of State and Government want to make a decision on this issue in December. According to Zelensky, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave “positive signals” during her visit to Kiev last Saturday.
According to information from the German News Agency, von der Leyen wants to give a positive assessment of the country’s reform progress in Brussels on Wednesday. It is also planned that the governments of the EU countries will formally recommend the start of accession negotiations. Accordingly, the EU Commission assumes that significant reform steps can be completed in Ukraine in a short time and do not constitute a reason to postpone the fundamental decision on the start of accession negotiations.
Therefore, the approval of the heads of state and government of the European Union countries could take place at the European Union summit on December 14-15, as the government in Kiev had hoped. In order to ensure that Ukraine verifies the conditions that have not yet been met, it is likely that further decisions necessary for the negotiations will be agreed upon accordingly. Therefore, the official start of negotiations within the framework of the First Accession Conference may take a long time.
“We are already preparing our next steps after this report,” Zelensky said, referring to Wednesday. The country will gain membership in the European Union through internal transformation. Zelensky said it was important for the Supreme Council – Parliament – to enact relevant laws.
Zelensky said that Ukraine has come a long way. In his video speech, he also recalled the tenth anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity. Pro-European demonstrations began in November 2013 and led to the ouster of Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
Other EU reform demands revolve around the selection process for Ukraine’s constitutional judges and a stronger fight against corruption – especially at senior levels. The EU also requires adherence to anti-money laundering standards and the implementation of a law against excessive influence of oligarchs.
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