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Borrell: Ukraine's EU membership bid creates momentum for further enlargement

by Martin Fornusek November 13, 2023 1:45 PM 2 min read
Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the von der Leyen Commission, stands in the European Parliament building and speaks. (Philipp von Ditfurth/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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The EU Commission's support for Ukraine membership talks can revitalize stagnating admission processes of other candidate countries, the EU's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said on Nov. 13, Ukrinform reported.

"It will create momentum and move forward an entire line of countries who want to become EU members," Borrell said in Brussels ahead of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting.

"There are certain obstacles for Serbia and Kosovo, yes, but the dynamics that Ukraine created by applying for membership will affect... all the candidates whose bids ended up in a certain phase of stagnation."

The EU's executive arm recommended on Nov. 8 to formally launch membership talks with Ukraine and Moldova. Kyiv, which submitted its EU application in February 2022, has fulfilled four of the seven criteria needed to open the negotiations, Brussels said.

Ukraine moves one step closer to joining EU. What’s next?
The European Commission’s historic decision on Nov. 8 recommending formal talks on Ukraine’s EU membership may be a milestone, but political hurdles, reforms, and years of negotiations still await before the country can finally join. After applying for EU membership on Feb. 28, 2022, just four days…

The actual start of the talks must be approved by all EU leaders, most likely during a summit in December. Hungary has already voiced opposition to opening the negotiations.

Borrell also said that the EU should continue to pay attention to the progress of other candidate members and to observe how the EU's foreign policy is reflected in the actual policies of those candidates.

The Commission's Nov. 8 report included a recommendation to grant candidacy status to Georgia, a country that was omitted when the EU made Ukraine and Moldova candidates in June.

Georgia's current political trajectory under the ruling Georgian Dream party sparked worries of democratic backsliding and of the country's shift to the Kremlin's orbit.

Together with Ukraine and Moldova, the list of EU candidates includes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania. Kosovo has applied for membership, and Turkey's candidacy talks have been frozen.

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