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EU nations share ‘broad consensus’ to grant candidate status to Ukraine: French minister

Conditions for starting accession talks might be different, warns France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune

Agnes Szucs   | 21.06.2022
EU nations share ‘broad consensus’ to grant candidate status to Ukraine: French minister

BRUSSELS

There is a wide consensus among EU member states to grant candidate status for Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia but with different conditions, France’s Europe minister said on Tuesday.

French state secretary for European affairs Clement Beaune spoke at a news conference following the meeting of EU affairs ministers in Luxembourg.

The reunion was meant to prepare for the EU leaders’ summit that will start on Thursday and is expected to endorse the European Commission’s recommendations on candidate status.

Maros Sefcovic, the vice president of the European Commission, said this is a “historical week” for the European Union.

There is a “fairly broad consensus” for granting EU candidate status for all the three countries but the conditions “are not going to be quite probably the same for Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia,” Beaune explained.


He added that all the applications “have been treated differently with a different set of conditions, ways and means” following the recommendations of the European Commission.

Beaune also stated that following last week’s visit of French, German and Italian leaders to Kyiv, “there seems to be general political will right now, to tell Ukraine, as a very strong symbol, that time is right for them to start discussing the prospect of their accession.”

For his part, Sefcovic stressed that it is important to “offer a clear European perspective” for these countries in the current difficult times of “renewed geopolitical rivalry.”

“We hope it will serve as a motivation and as inspiration for the people of these countries,” he added.

He also confirmed that the EU executive body and EU ministers showed their commitment at the meeting “to help these countries with reforms, technical assistance, and financial support, not only to encounter the current situation linked with the war in Ukraine but also to prepare them to be ready for efficient membership.”

Last week, the European Commission recommended candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova with the conditions of rule of law, anti-corruption, and judicial reform, and reaffirmed the European perspective for Georgia.

Only four days after Russia launched its war on Ukraine on Feb. 24., Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy officially signed his country’s request to join the EU.

Inspired by Ukraine’s request, Georgia and Moldova also presented their EU membership applications on March 3.

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