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Bloomberg: EU Commission to recommend Ukraine membership talks

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 22, 2023 5:14 PM 2 min read
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stands in the European Parliament building on 13 September 2023. (Photo by Philipp von Ditfurth/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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The European Commission is planning to recommend starting EU membership talks with Ukraine in October, Bloomberg reported on Sept. 22, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

However, the EU's executive body may insist on progress in specific reforms, namely anti-corruption measures, the sources said.

The proposition still has to be approved by EU leaders who will most likely discuss the Commission's recommendations during a summit in December, according to Bloomberg.

Ukraine officially applied for EU membership in late February 2022 and was granted candidate status in June last year. To start the membership negotiation process, Kyiv needs to implement seven reforms outlined by the European Commission.

‎This Week in Ukraine: Corruption in Ukraine, and where reforms fall short on Apple Podcasts
‎Show This Week in Ukraine, Ep Corruption in Ukraine, and where reforms fall short - Jun 2, 2023

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna said earlier in September that Ukraine has already fulfilled "EU recommendations on the necessary legislative work in the judicial and media spheres," adding that the reforms are ongoing.

She later added that some reform processes will likely take years to fully complete, as they represent a "fundamental transformation of the country," but she nevertheless believes that the accession talks would start this year.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Sept. 13 that Ukraine has made great strides toward EU membership since June last year but "hard work" still lies ahead.

The Commission told the bloc members this week that Ukraine needs to focus its efforts on reforms related to fighting corruption, protection of minorities, and de-oligarchization, Bloomberg said.

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