Politics, Europe, Russia-Ukraine War

EU Commission chief sees 'special way' for Ukraine to get EU membership

French President Macron proposes new 'European political community' for candidate countries

Agnes Szucs   | 09.05.2022
EU Commission chief sees 'special way' for Ukraine to get EU membership

BRUSSELS 

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday that “the enormous momentum" in the Ukrainian society for a "profound change" can pave a “special way” into the EU.

Von der Leyen spoke at a news conference following the closing ceremony of the Conference on the Future of Europe at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

She praised the “enormous momentum" in the Ukrainian society in favor of a profound change, and said it “might pave the way in a different way into the European Union.”

“Ukraine is already very close to the European Union,” von der Leyen explained, adding that the country has a “deep and comprehensive free trade agreement” with the EU, and it is connected to the bloc’s electricity grid.

“For Ukraine, there is a special pass, we have to cave in the combination of massive investment and reforms,” she asserted.

Earlier on Monday, she announced on Twitter that the European Commission will deliver its assessment of Ukraine’s EU membership application in June after it has received 5,000-page long answers from Ukraine to its questionnaire.

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron was more cautious about Ukraine’s membership in his speech at the closing ceremony, proposing a so-called “European political community” for candidate countries, including Ukraine and the Western Balkans.

He explained at the news conference that the EU “has set the bar very high when it comes to integration, and as a result, it will be impossible for us to integrate new members for some years or even decades.”

According to his view, it would be a new organization of common values aiming at investments in infrastructure, energy, transport, as well as security cooperation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy applied for EU membership only four days after Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24, asking for a fast-track application process.

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