Opinion on Ukraine’s EU Candidate Status to be ready by the end of next week, von der Leyen says

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The EU will decide whether to grant Ukraine a candidate status for accession in the near future.
The EU will decide whether to grant Ukraine a candidate status for accession in the near future.

“As you know, the Commission is currently preparing the recommendations – its so-called opinion – for the EU Member States,” von der Leyen said at a news conference following talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“We have been working day and night on this assessment. And I promised you in April, dear Volodymyr, that we will be working tirelessly on it. So the discussions today will enable us to finalize our assessment by the end of next week.”

Read also: Ukraine’s application to be considered when ‘best moment’ comes

She added that the direction of the path is known, “it is a merit-based path”, and the EU very much appreciates the efforts and the determination of Ukraine and its citizens in this process.

“The people of Ukraine have proven incredible strength, motivation and stamina,” she said.

“So I’m deeply convinced that we will together, and you will overcome this horrible and atrocious war. We will, and you will, rebuild this beautiful country and modernize Ukraine. ‘Glory to Ukraine!’”

Earlier, Bloomberg reported that on June 17 the European Commission will recommend granting Ukraine the status of an EU candidate. The EC opinion will be a recommendation to the EU Council to decide on the next steps.

Read also: UWC chief on how Ukrainian diaspora around the world helps their motherland in wartime

Further, Ukraine's application for EU membership will be discussed at the level of European leaders in the EU Council. However, some EU countries oppose granting Ukraine the status of a candidate-country for accession. Three EU countries oppose this, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna said. According to media sources, among them are Austria and Denmark.

The European Parliament on June 8 supported a resolution calling for Ukraine to be granted candidate status for EU membership, with some 438 MEPs voting “for”. The leaders of the European Parliament factions on June 9 called on the European Union to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, as well as to work on granting the same status to Georgia.

Ukraine's path to EU membership: what is known

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for Ukraine's accession to the EU on Feb. 28. After the full-scale Russian invasion, Ukraine will apply to the European Union for immediate accession under a new special procedure, he said.

On March 21, it was reported that the European Commission had begun work on an opinion on Ukraine's membership of the EU.

Read also: Germany's Scholz says EU accession ‘not a matter of a few months or years’ for Ukraine

During her visit to Kyiv on April 8, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen gave a questionnaire to Ukrainian President VolodymyrZelensky on Ukraine's compliance with the Copenhagen criteria – a necessary step for obtaining the status of a candidate for accession to the EU. After Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova also received the questionnaires, on April 11.

Kyiv submitted the completed first part of the questionnaire for obtaining the status of a candidate for EU membership to the European Commission on April 18, and the completed second part of the questionnaire on May 9.

Ukraine expects to receive the status of a candidate for EU membership in June 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.