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European Commission presents interim assessment of Ukraine's progress toward EU membership talks

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 22, 2023 9:06 PM 1 min read
EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi talks to the media on June 2, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. (Pool/Getty Images)
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European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi gave an oral update on Ukraine's progress in fulfilling conditions to launch EU membership talks on June 22.

According to the interim assessment broadcasted by SVT Play, Ukraine has fully completed two out of seven steps identified as priorities in the country's application.

One of them is the reform of the judicial system with the creation of the High Council of Justice and the High Qualification Commission of judges running on a merit-based selection process. Another is bringing media legislation into full compliance with the EU directive.

Varhelyi said that Ukraine has achieved "good progress" in implementing the reform of the Constitutional Court.

"They have adopted the necessary law in the first reading that establishes the solid process, but it is still premature to say because the law has to go through the second reading in Verkhovna Rada, to which amendments can still be tabled until June 24."

The assessment adds that Ukraine has made "some progress" in the remaining four steps, namely the fight against corruption, anti-money laundering measures, de-oligarchization, and the protection of the rights of national minorities.

Ukraine officially applied for EU membership in late February 2022, just days after Russia began bombing Kyiv and other cities, starting an all-out war against the country. Ukraine was granted candidacy status in June.

It often takes many years for candidate countries to have accession negotiations opened by the EU. Macron said in May 2022 that it could take "decades" for Ukraine to join the bloc. Meanwhile, Zelensky has said that Ukraine wants to become a member in two years.

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