EU leaders approve candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova

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The leaders of the 27 countries of the European Union decided this Thursday (23), in Brussels, to give candidate status to Ukraine, which asked to join the bloc after the invasion promoted by Russia, and to Moldova.
The granting of candidate status – more symbolic than practical – was unanimously approved on the basis of the Commission’s recommendations. The measure is supported by the main economies of the block.
“Agreement. The European Union has just decided to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova. A historic moment. Today marks a fundamental step on the way to the EU,” wrote the President of the European Council on Twitter. Charles Michel, congratulating the leaders of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Moldova, Maia Sandu.
In a press conference, Michel also explained that this “is a strong message of political determination” and that the leaders have also reached “an agreement on how to bring support to Ukraine, financially and military”.
“We confirm our determination to counter the consequences of the Russian aggression in terms of food and energy,” he added.
Furthermore, the EU also decided to “recognize Georgia’s European perspective” and said it was “ready to grant candidate status once outstanding priorities have been addressed”.
The president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in turn, recalled that “today is a good day for Europe” and stressed that the countries “are part of our European family”, given the historic decision. Zelensky, who is linked live to the European Council room in Brussels, celebrated the positive vote, according to official sources. “It is a unique and historic moment”, he said, thanking “Charles Michel, Ursula von der Leyen and the EU leaders for their support”. “Ukraine’s future lies within the EU”.
Despite the approval, the accession process is long and complex and requires the candidate to implement a series of political and economic reforms and to adapt to European legislation in all areas, including health regulations, taxation, public procurement, freedom of the press and independence of the judiciary.
Proof of this are the other five countries that already have candidate status, but are not even close to joining the European Union today: Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.
Austria, Finland and Sweden now hold the speed record in the EU accession process: 1,431 days, or almost four years. The latest EU member, Croatia, submitted its candidacy in 2003 and only joined the bloc in 2013.
EU representatives have already made it clear that Ukraine will not take shortcuts to join the bloc. The leaders of the Western Balkan region, a group of countries that have been negotiating their membership for several years, have made no secret of their sorrow.

Source: Terra

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