How the EU is fighting for the annexation of Ukraine
On Friday, the European Commission will issue a recommendation on whether Ukraine will become a candidate country. After Germany and France have surprisingly spoken out in support of it in Kiev, there is more skepticism elsewhere. Austria offers an alternative to merger.
AIn early March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky submitted an application to his country, which is at war with Russia, to join the European Union. This Friday, even after three months, the EU Commission will already decide on a nomination as a candidate to join.
EU diplomats told the WELT that commission chairman Ursula von der Leyen would soon recommend a candidate position and that Ukraine must first meet a number of legal provisions. This may be a compromise to appease Zhelensky’s call for a quick merger, but it may also satisfy critics.
In the end, it is not the Commission that decides the status of the candidate, but the member states. There are definitely bookings about the quick process especially in Austria. Until recently, France and Germany also expressed concern. During their joint trip to Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron and President Olaf Scholes spoke out in support of granting EU candidate status to Ukraine on Thursday. “However, we support Ukraine’s accession to the European Union,” Macron told a news conference in Kiev. This access point will be accompanied by a road map, taking into account the situation in the western Balkans. The Republic of Moldova is also to be granted candidate status to join the European Union.
On the other hand, President Carl Nehmmer told the WELT: “I would like to say that as far as possible EU candidate status, there are clear and established criteria. There should not be dual standards or even first and second class applicants.
The EU must ensure that Ukraine applies the “same standards” applicable to other applicant countries from the Western Balkans. “In this context, it would be unthinkable for Ukraine to grant candidate status and at the same time marginalize countries like Bosnia-Herzegovina,” Nehemiah said.
“Intermediate Steps in the Addition Process”
The Western Balkans had already submitted an application for membership in early 2016. “We should not raise false expectations in Ukraine because the expansion process is complex and lengthy. Therefore, we must urgently think about the interim steps of the access process, for example, in the sense of European readiness,” the Austrian president stressed.
This ready-made location should not be an alternative to the access process, but running parallel to it, approximately facilitating EU standards. Austria has already put forward concrete ideas on this at the European level. “Similarly, I support President Macron’s idea of establishing a ‘European political community’,” Nehmar continued.
His country will continue to be actively involved in the debate process. Ukraine is no doubt “part of a European family”. “As a militarily neutral country, Austria best supports Ukraine against the Russian war of aggression and all efforts to end the war.”
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and European Minister Karoline Edtstadler have already spoken out in support of “gradual integration” in an internal letter to EU Ambassador Joseph Boral at the end of May. This could gradually bring Ukraine and the Western Balkans closer to the EU.
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