Ukraine to become EU candidate country

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron have for the first time advocated that Ukraine should become a candidate country for membership of the European Union.

Ukraine soll EU-Beitrittskandidat werden
picture alliance/dpa

Kyiv (dpa) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and French President Emmanuel Macron have for the first time advocated that Ukraine should become a candidate country for membership of the European Union. Scholz said on Thursday during his long-awaited visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv: “My colleagues and I have come here to Kyiv today with a clear message: Ukraine belongs to the European family.” He added: “Germany supports a positive decision in favour of Ukraine. That also applies to the Republic of Moldova.”

Scholz described the status of an EU candidate country as a milestone on Ukraine’s “European path, which will be full of prerequisites”. He said he would push for a unified stance at the EU summit on 23 and 24 June – unanimity is needed for the decision. Macron said: “We certainly support Ukraine’s candidate status for accession to the European Union.” On the 113th day of the war, Zelenskiy welcomed his guests’ commitment: “EU candidate status could be a historic decision for Europe.” Ukraine had applied for membership shortly after Russia’s attack on 24 February. The EU Commission in Brussels is expected to propose on Friday that Ukraine should be given a clear prospect of membership. Accession negotiations are complicated and usually take years.