Ukraine’s ambitious plan of joining the European Union received an important boost when the bloc’s executive body, on Wednesday, said detailed negotiations should begin next year.
The European Commission said in a report the so-called accession should finally be starting as the country has been accepted as a candidate state for the past 18 months. The same report suggested that the process should begin with Moldova, which borders Ukraine.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on Wednesday said, “Today is a historic day, because today the Commission recommends that the Council opens accession negotiations with Ukraine and with Moldova.”
"Ukraine has completed well over 90% of the necessary steps that we set out last year in our report.
On this basis, we have recommended today that the @EUCouncil opens accession negotiations."
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) November 8, 2023
Von Der Leyen spoke the same the day as the report by the commission was released stating the accession should begin for it has been 18 months since Ukraine was accepted as a candidate state. The same report recommended the accession talks to begin with Moldova too.
Ukraine has been long ambition to join the EU for more than decade. In 2013, then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to scrap a trade deal with European Union and rather favour a deal with Russia, sparked protests which ultimately resulted in his oust.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who applied for EU membership in February 2022, shortly before Russia invaded his country, welcomed the Wednesday’s development.
“Despite all the difficulties, we are moving forward,” he said while labelling the recommendation as the “right step.”