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EU Council Confirms 25 June Start for Ukraine and Moldova Accession Talks

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The EU Council has scheduled the commencement of accession negotiations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova for 25 June.

This significant development follows the resolution of the last obstacles impeding the negotiation process.

Hungary, which had previously raised objections, withdrew its concerns after receiving assurances from other EU member states that Viktor Orbán’s concerns regarding the rights of national minorities in Ukraine would be addressed during the negotiations.

The decision to initiate talks was further bolstered by the approval of the Dutch parliament, where such resolutions are mandatorily reviewed by lawmakers. This milestone marks the beginning of a substantive negotiation process aimed at eventually integrating Ukraine and Moldova into the European Union.

The timeline for Ukraine’s integration into the EU has been notably swift. Only a few years have passed since the decision was made to invite Ukraine to begin the accession process, despite the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war.

While this conflict has influenced the expedited nature of the integration efforts, Ukraine’s achievement of the necessary standards for commencing negotiations was a crucial factor.

The EU Council’s decision underscores that adherence to these standards is imperative within such institutions.

The negotiation process is expected to be complex and prolonged, with no clear timeframe for completion. However, the initiation of these talks sends a powerful message to Ukrainian citizens, affirming that Europe recognises Ukraine as a future member of the European family.

It also signals to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the international community will not acquiesce to Russia’s attempts to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty or transform Ukraine into a satellite state under Russian influence.

The EU’s decision to begin negotiations is also a statement of solidarity with Ukraine, reflecting a broader geopolitical stance. The European Union views Ukraine as an integral part of European civilisation, with a rich cultural and historical legacy dating back to the era of Kyivan Rus.

This perspective is crucial in the context of the current conflict, highlighting the EU’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and its aspirations to join the European community.

The accession process, while challenging, is a testament to Ukraine’s progress and resilience. The EU acknowledges that the negotiations will be demanding, not least because Ukraine, Moldova, and another candidate country, Georgia, face significant territorial challenges.

These nations do not have full control over their internationally recognised territories due to ongoing conflicts. Ukraine contends with the Russian occupation of Crimea and parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions. Moldova faces the issue of Transnistria, and Georgia deals with the situations in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

For the EU, expanding eastward and incorporating these countries represents a strategic imperative. It underscores the EU’s commitment to fortifying its borders against a backdrop of aggression from Russia, which embodies a state characterised by military aggression, human rights abuses, and political repression.

The EU’s stance is also a call for the West to adopt innovative approaches in its enlargement policies, potentially adjusting the criteria for accession to accommodate the unique challenges faced by Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia.

Historically, the EU has shown flexibility in its accession policies, as evidenced by the inclusion of Cyprus, which remains divided and partially occupied. Similar exceptions might need to be considered for Ukraine and Moldova, among others.

The initiation of talks, despite ongoing conflicts, indicates the EU’s readiness to adopt such unconventional measures.

The start of negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova amidst the ongoing war is a significant development. It reflects a growing recognition of the need to counter Russian aggression and support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations aspiring to join the EU.

This move marks a crucial step towards the eventual integration of these countries into the European Union, reinforcing the EU’s commitment to peace, stability, and democratic values in the region.

As negotiations progress, it is evident that both Ukraine and Moldova have the potential to strengthen the EU’s eastern frontier. Their inclusion would signify not only an expansion of the EU but also a reinforcement of the principles of democracy and human rights that the union upholds.

The start of these talks is a hopeful sign that, despite the challenges, Ukraine and Moldova are on a path toward a future within the European Union.

EU Briefs publie des articles provenant de diverses sources extérieures qui expriment un large éventail de points de vue. Les positions prises dans ces articles ne sont pas nécessairement celles d'EU Briefs.

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