Conflicts & War

Ukraine still has ‘long road ahead’ to join EU: Von der Leyen

Brussels, Jul 1 (EFE).- Ukraine has a “long road ahead” to join the European Union but Europe will be at its side “every step of the way,” EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Friday while calling for “unity” among Ukrainian lawmakers.

“There is a long road ahead but Europe will be at your side every step of the way, for as long as it takes, from these dark days of war until the moment you cross the door that leads into our European Union,” von der Leyen said in an address to the Ukrainian parliament following the bloc’s decision to grant Kyiv EU candidacy status.

The Commission chief told parliament that the next steps were “within your reach” while calling for unity and determination in the long process ahead.

Von der Leyen continued to say that in order for Ukraine to join the EU as a full fledged member, it would have to implement reforms, including measures to tackle corruption and clip the wings of oligarchs.

“Your European path and the reconstruction of the country will go hand in hand. Ukraine will be in the lead. Massive investments will have to come.

“But to maximize their impact and to foster business confidence, investments will have to be coupled with a new wave of reforms,” the German politician said.

Reforms outlined by Brussels also involve changes to the Constitutional Court and media laws.

Ukraine was granted EU candidacy last week in a move Brussels hailed as a “historic moment” triggered and fast-tracked by Russia’s invasion.

Ukrainian lawmakers held a small ceremony Friday in which they carried in the EU flag and placed it next to the Ukrainian flag in the parliamentary chamber.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a Telegram post that the country’s path to full membership “should not take years or decades.”EFE


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