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Can Ukraine join the EU? Explained

Ukraine join EU; As Russian bombs fell on Kyiv, Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities, President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the European Union

By Ground Report
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Can Ukraine join the EU Explained

Ground Report | New Delhi: Ukraine join EU; As Russian bombs fell on Kyiv, Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities, President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the European Union on Monday to "urgently admit Ukraine" to the bloc.

"We call on the European Union to urgently admit Ukraine using a new procedure, " Zelensky said in a video message. "We are grateful to the partners for supporting us. But our goal is to be with all Europeans and be equal to them."

However, it was marked as the day that Ukraine formally applied to join the European Union, which is a major obstacle for Russian interests. But is it as easy to join the EU as Volodymyr Zelensky claims?

In one of the great wishes of Ukraine in recent years and one of the reasons why Russia has proceeded with its invasion, this Monday President Zelensky signed the document to become the 28th member country of the EU. Requesting, in addition, to accelerate the deadlines, since it is a complex process, an entry in a short period of time would mean the ease of direct intervention in the war by the armies of other Member States such as France, Germany, Italy or Spain.

Can Ukraine join the EU?

The resolution was voted in favour by 637 members of the European Parliament (MEP) and condemned "in the strongest possible terms Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine and demanded that the Kremlin end all military activities in the country."

But, beyond Zelensky's statements and the support of the European Parliament, can Ukraine navigate a years-long process and quickly enter the EU in a context of war?

However, it is the emergency situation that Ukraine is experiencing that could help its rapid entry by skipping the long bureaucracy that led, for example, Croatia (the last to enter) to wait ten years from the signing of the request -2003- until the official entry -2013-. For now, in the emergency session of the European Parliament this Tuesday, Zelensky will enter by videoconference as well as the European Parliament will clearly position itself in favour of giving Ukraine the status of a candidate country.

Every incoming country must meet a series of requirements

With this, it is understood that Ukraine can move to the pre-accession stage, in which the EU could provide financial, administrative and technical assistance so that its institutions adapt to the Union's requirements. These agreed in Copenhagen in 1993, refer, among other issues, to democratic stability, respect for human rights, having a competitive economy for the EU and the ability to take on certain monetary challenges.

"If the opinion of the Commission is favourable, the Council must approve a negotiation mandate. Then the negotiations officially begin ", indicating the statutes of the Union. In other words, all the requirements approved in Copenhagen must be evaluated, which currently seem too far away for a country at war and with democracy indices far from those set by the EU.

The admission of a new country to the bloc is a long and complex process that is based on article 49 of the European Union Treaty, according to information on its official website.

There are two main requirements: being a European country and respecting the common values ​​of the Member States, that is "human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities". (Ukraine join EU)

In practice, it also requires a democratic government, a good human rights record and a sound economic policy. Adapting the candidate country's institutions, standards and infrastructure to meet these obligations can take a long time, during which it undergoes numerous reviews by the European Commission.

How long does this whole process take?

It depends on each country and its internal situation. Austria completed its process in five years (1989-1995), while it took Croatia a decade (2003-2013).

While there are other processes that remain open but without great progress, such as that of Turkey, which applied for membership in 1987 (to the European Commission, at that time), or Albania, which did so in 2009.

Why are there countries that want to join the European Union?

The European Union is an international organization made up of 27 European countries, which governs the common economic, political, social and security policies of its member states.

According to the EU website, the goals of the European Union are to establish European citizenship, guarantee freedom, justice and security, promote economic and social progress, and affirm Europe's role in the world. The bloc's capital is in Brussels, Belgium, and some 446 million people live within its borders.

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