EU to begin Ukraine membership talks by June's end, says Commission President

Ursula von der Leyen
Ursula von der Leyen

Negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU should start by the end of June, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said, Interfax-Ukraine reported on June 11.

“Ukraine has fulfilled all the steps that we [the European Commission] had set out,” von der Leyen said during the Ukraine Recovery Conference (UKC2024) in Berlin.

Ukraine implemented the reforms that form the basis to make the country an attractive platform for investments and business, bringing it closer to the European Union, she said.

Read also: European Commission supports start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to EU, says PM Shmyhal

Ukraine has fulfilled all the prerequisites to start negotiations regarding EU membership, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“This June must see the negotiation framework approved and talks begun,” he said.

The beginning of negotiations is significant because “it will be the fulfillment of promises made by Europe, and proof that Europe cannot be broken by pressure, doubts, or any manipulation.”

“Regardless of changing political sentiments in Europe, the fact of our reality remains: the European Union is needed by all Europeans without exception and every nation that shares the common values of all of Europe and wants to live, like us, in peace,” he said.

Ukraine’s accession to the EU

Ukraine has implemented 65-70% of the Association Agreement with the EU, Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal said in a TV interview with Bloomberg in September 2022. At a press conference in Brussels, he added: “We have an ambition in the near future, by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, to move into the negotiation procedures that precede the actual granting of EU membership.”

Shmyhal said in May 2023 that Ukraine should be ready to join the EU in two years.

The European Commission recommended starting negotiations on Ukraine and Moldova’s accession to the EU on Nov. 8, 2023. The European Council supported the start of negotiations on Ukraine’s EU membership with 26 votes on Dec. 14.

Read also: France affirms support for Ukraine's EU journey

Ukraine could join the European Union in 2030, European Council President Charles Michel said previously.

Shmyhal said on March 20, 2024, that negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union should begin by the end of June this year.

EU Ambassador to Ukraine Katarína Mathernová said on April 25 that the country is ready to start negotiations on EU accession and expects them to begin in late June.

Read also: FM Kuleba responds to Biden's NATO stance on Ukraine's membership

Zelenskyy said on April 30 that Ukraine could start negotiations on joining the European Union as early as June.

Brussels officials are also pushing to start official talks on Ukraine’s accession to the EU this month, Politico cited sources as saying on May 21.

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