Brussels – The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), recommended opening accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, and at the same time admitted recognizing Georgia’s status as a candidate country.
“Today is a historic day…” said the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, when presenting this decision.
Ukraine, the German official said, “continues to face enormous difficulties and tragedy caused by Russia’s war of aggression, and yet Ukrainians are transforming their country.”
The Commission’s recommendations must be submitted to the vote of the leaders of the EU countries at a summit scheduled for December in Brussels.
Ukraine submitted its request to join the EU just five days after Russia’s offensive against its territory, in February 2022, and in June the country was officially recognized as a candidate to join the bloc.
When Ukraine formalized its membership bid, the EU presented it with a plan of seven fundamental reforms to complete, particularly in the fight against corruption, before talks can begin.
Von der Leyen visited Ukraine last weekend and congratulated the authorities for having completed “well over 90%” of those required reforms.
For his part, the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, applauded the “correct step” of the Commission and assured that “our country has to be in the EU.”