The European Commission has recommended the initiation of EU membership negotiations with Ukraine, designating it as an official EU candidate country. Simultaneously, Moldova is poised to attain candidate country status once it fulfills the remaining conditions, according to an EU Commission report. The assessment notes that Ukraine has met EU accession requirements related to media legislation, judiciary operations, judges' appointments, and an intensified anti-money laundering effort.
President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, lauded Ukraine's progress, stating, "The remaining reforms are already on their way, that’s good, and the commission commends these efforts." The areas targeted for improvement in Ukraine include anti-corruption measures, reducing the influence of oligarchs and lobbyists, and safeguarding the rights of national minorities through legislation.
The recommendations also offer technical guidance to 27 EU member states on the progress made by candidate countries aligning their laws and standards with those of the EU. The EU Commission's 2023 Enlargement Package proposes granting candidate status to Moldova and suggests opening accession negotiations with Bosnia-Herzegovina upon achieving the necessary compliance degree.
The final decision on these recommendations is expected to be made by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels on December 14 and 15. However, potential opposition from Hungary and Slovakia regarding the recommendation for Ukraine is anticipated.
The annual enlargement report's release faced delays due to concerns among EU member states that it could overshadow discussions on crucial issues such as the bloc's budget and migration during the Brussels summit held on October 26 to 27.
Moldova, like Ukraine, received positive feedback from Brussels regarding its European aspirations. The EU Commission highlighted Moldova's progress in justice, anti-corruption, and public administration reforms. Moldovan President Maia Sandu expressed gratitude for the news, emphasizing that Moldova is "finally on the path to EU membership." Both Ukraine and Moldova were officially granted EU candidate country status in June 2022.
By fLEXI tEAM