EU Commission backs candidate status for Ukraine, Moldova

Brussels, Jun 17 (EFE).- Ukraine and Moldova should be granted European Union candidate status but Georgia requires further reforms, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Friday.

The three countries fast-tracked their EU applications following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The Commission recommends to the Council first that Ukraine is given European perspective and second that Ukraine is given candidate status, this is of course on the understanding that the country will carry out a number of further important reforms,” von der Leyen told a press conference.

Reforms were required on the rule of law, oligarchs, anti-corruption and fundamental rights, the Commission found in its assessment.

She added, however, that Ukraine had already implemented 70% of EU rules, norms and standards.

The Commission recommended that Moldova be given candidate status on the condition it takes steps to bring its institutions and standards in line with EU criteria.

Georgia has a “foundation in place” to meet EU standards but its application for candidacy status would have to be reassessed, the Commission said in a statement.

“The Commission’s opinions mark an inflection point in our relations. Indeed, this is a historic day for the people of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. We are confirming that they belong, in due time, in the European Union. The next steps are now in the hands of our Member States.”

Ukraine and Moldova’s candidacy status will be discussed at the upcoming European Council meeting on June 23-24.

The announcement from von der Leyen comes after French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian prime minister Mario Draghi and Romanian president Klaus Iohannis on Thursday voiced their support for Ukraine’s candidacy status during a trip to Kyiv, where they met with president Volodymy Zelenskyy.

Ukraine submitted its application in the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion.

The former Soviet states of Moldova and Georgia swiftly followed suit.

Georgia, which fought in a 2008 war against Russia, is home to two Russian-backed separatist states, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Moldova, meanwhile, is home to the breakaway state of Transnistria, which has a Russian military presence. EFE


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