On November 8, 2023, the EU is determined to deliver a progress assessment of the Ukaraine's membership bid, as claimed earlier by three officials to Reuters. A decision, expected to be settled during the European Council meeting in the middle of December 2023, will determine whether formal membership negotiations with Ukraine will take place. Anticipating the pivotal significance of the upcoming months for the future of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his determination for the candidacy exhilaration during the meeting of the College of the European Commission this Tuesday, on October 24.
"For Ukraine, this is a top priority – to be ready for a political decision to start negotiations on EU membership this year. And I hope it is the same for the European Union. We have laid a solid basis for this. The goal now is very special. If we can get rid of grey geopolitical zones, we must do it!" - said the President, as documented in the transcript provided by his office earlier this week. Before this, Kyiv had already repeatedly displayed an intention to carry out accession talks formally by the end of this year.
European Commission Recommendaitons and Preliminary Assessment
In June last year, when Ukraine was officially granted candidate status roughly four months after its initial application for EU membership, the European Council "acknowledged the considerable effort that Ukraine has made under very difficult circumstances" in its enlargement policy. Whilst this holds in a broader context, the gap between Ukraine's predominantly symbolic status in the EU landscape and its claim for an actual candidacy is subject to seven requirements outlined by Brussels, although officials diplomatically prefer the term' recommendations' instead.
According to the undisclosed report briefing of two senior EU officials to Reuters, as of June 20, 2023, Ukraine has met two of them - namely, the ones concerned with judicial reform and media law. While the first recommendation aims to reshape the subsequent judge selection procedure as well as reassess the qualification of the current judges, the latter reform mainly seeks to align Ukraine's legislation with the EU standards of media services.
The Candidate Check, an independent monitoring of Ukraine's condition implementation, also points to improvements in the Constitutional court reform, legislation on national minorities, and anti-corruption initiatives as of September 2023. On the other hand, expert's scores on combating money laundering remained the same since the last assessment. Similarly, the anti-oligarch reform was not rated at all, stalled due to the delayed conclusions of the Venice Commission and its subsequent suggestion to "legally defer the implementation of the Law on Oligarchs" until the end of the war, as stated in the Commission’s opinion document.
Overall, the Candidate Check indicated that Ukraine achieved an average expert score of 8.1 out of 10 in the most recent evaluation of the country's progress in reform integration. Yet, it remains only an approximate measure preceding an official progress assessment by the executive European Commission on November 8, 2023.
The report will serve as a critical milestone in outlining the feasibility of Ukraine's aspirations for swift EU accession, which could then potentially culminate in a decision by the 27-member bloc to commence the talks with Kyiv in December. Still, in order to meet the requirements for membership, Ukraine would need to harmonize its legal framework with a wide array of EU standards encompassing areas such as climate and labour regulations. Despite preliminary optimistic outlooks, Ukraine's journey towards EU membership is expected to be a lengthy process, with many doubting the feasibility of the country's accession while it remains in conflict with Russia.
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in