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Deputy PM: Ukraine expects positive report on EU membership progress

by Martin Fornusek November 6, 2023 11:07 PM 2 min read
Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna speaks with the Kyiv Independent in downtown Kyiv. (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)
This audio is created with AI assistance

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Ukraine is expecting a positive assessment by the European Commission on Kyiv's path toward EU membership, Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Olha Stefanishyna said in an interview with Reuters on Nov. 6.

The EU's executive body is expected to issue its evaluation of Ukraine's progress on Nov. 8, with several media outlets indicating earlier that the report should be positive.

Stefanishyna voiced hopes that the Commission will recommend EU leaders to open formal accession talks during a summit in December.

"I would say that the assessment would definitely be positive because we have been in permanent contact with the European Commission, discussing the steps and negotiating the steps we managed to implement," the senior official told Reuters.

As part of the accession process, Kyiv was presented with seven criteria it needs to fulfill in order to begin the membership talks.

"I think for the purposes of the assessment when it comes to the seven steps, everything which has been agreed has been implemented and done," she added.

Zelensky, von der Leyen meet in Kyiv, discuss Ukraine’s EU accession, aid to Kyiv
After the meeting, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine “does not ask for special conditions” on its way to joining the EU and has fulfilled all the steps recommended by the European Commission to launch the accession talks.

In September, Stefanishyna said that Ukraine had already "fulfilled the EU recommendations on the necessary legislative work in the judicial and media spheres."

However, it would take years before the full scope of reforms is fully implemented, she said in August, noting that these efforts involve "fundamental transformations of the country."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during her recent visit to Kyiv she was "impressed by the reforms Ukraine has made in the midst of a war."

"I am confident that you can complete the outstanding reforms very soon. If this happens, Ukraine can reach its ambitious goal," the EU top official said on the social media platform X.

Nevertheless, the Nov. 8 assessment may be accompanied by additional conditions pertaining to Ukraine's fight against corruption and national minority rights reforms, Reuters reported, citing official sources.

Several EU leaders, including Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, already indicated that the start of the talks may be given the green light in December.

Opinion: The geopolitics of EU enlargement
The debate surrounding the European Union’s potential expansion is no longer really about Ukraine and the western Balkans. Enlargement is now an existential question with far-reaching implications for the EU and its ability to remain a prominent player in a rapidly changing global environment. BERL…
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