The French president praised the political gesture of offering candidacy to Ukraine and Moldova.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that the status of Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for EU membership is a political gesture that sends a strong signal to Russia. Other EU leaders warned that the status was largely symbolic, with years of reforms and negotiations before actual membership would be in the cards, even as Kiev and Chisinau celebrated.
At a press conference in Brussels, Macron said that the EU's recognition of the European perspective of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia is a strong signal towards Russia in the current geopolitical context. He said that the candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova sends a strong message.
We owe this to the Ukrainian people. Macron said that they are fighting for our values. From day one of the conflict, Europe has been reacting in a quick, historic and united way. Firstly with the sanctions, then with macroeconomic, military, and financial support, and now with this political gesture. The European Council President Charles Michel called it a historic moment and a crucial step in the path of Ukraine and Moldova towards the EU.
Yes! 27 times yes! According to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, there is a number of member countries. Here's to good cooperation in the European family! Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo also praised the symbolic message of the EU decision but noted that this doesn't mean Kiev will join the bloc anytime soon. That is a process of many years with a lot of reforms that will be very difficult, he said.
The process of joining the EU consists of 35 chapters and can be reversed at any point. EuroNews described it as long, complex and often tortuous. The European Commission is calling for seven major reforms by the end of the year, including a law intended to curb the influence of oligarchs in the economy and the protection of national minorities, which could potentially refer to Russian-speakers or ethnic Hungarians in the west of the country.
Ukraine and Moldova will join Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey in the EU's waiting room. Ankara has been a candidate since 1999. The former Soviet republic of Georgia was given an EU perspective, with candidacy contingent on further political reforms.