She assured President Zelensky of the EU’s unwavering support. “The European path to Ukraine has already begun,” Ursula von der Leyen wrote on her Twitter account, reporting on a video conference between officials.
The official added, at a time when armed confrontations in Ukraine intensified due to the Russian invasion, without specifying: “Times like this require vision, determination and resistance to take one difficult step after the next.”
“The European Commission will continue on this path,” he said, and also announced that he had told Zelensky “the disbursement of a second tranche of about 300 million euros in total financial aid to Ukraine.”
This position comes a week after the ambassadors of the 27 member states to the European Union reached an agreement asking the European Commission to evaluate applications from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova for the status of candidate countries for the European Union bloc.
It is now up to Brussels to give an opinion on each of the EU membership applications submitted by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, following a written procedure for the Council to validate the draft letters.
This agreement came days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the official application for the country’s entry into the European Union, requesting candidate status, and after Georgia and Moldova took steps in the same direction.
However, the European Commission has already indicated that “there is a procedure to follow”, which is a complex and time-consuming procedure.
The European Council, made up of leaders of EU heads of state and government, also has “different views in Europe and different opinions” among European leaders on attributing candidate status to Ukraine, and the head of the structure has already admitted, Charles Michel, realizing that the debate will be difficult.
The European rules state that any European country that respects the European values of the Treaty on European Union and is committed to promoting them can apply to become a member.
When a country applies for membership of the European Union, the Council invites the European Commission to give its opinion on the application.
Then, it is up to the Council of the European Union (in forming the General Affairs Council) to establish and oversee the process of EU enlargement and accession negotiations.
Decisions taken in the General Affairs Council on the candidate countries require the unanimous approval of all EU member states.
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