European Commission President von der Leyen back in Kyiv to track Ukraine’s progress on path to EU membership

11 June, 03:30 PM
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Photo:Ursula von der Leyen/Twitter)

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Photo:Ursula von der Leyen/Twitter)

For the second time since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has visited Kyiv, she said on Twitter on June 11.

"Good to be back in Kyiv. With President Volodymyr Zelensky, I will take stock of the joint work needed for reconstruction and of the progress made by Ukraine on its European path. Europe is with you!” her tweet reads.

Von der Leyen last came to Ukraine, together with EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, on April 8. It was then that she handed over a questionnaire to Zelensky on Ukraine’s meeting the Copenhagen criteria for becoming an EU member candidate.

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At the time, the head of the European Commission said she was convinced that Ukraine's accession to the EU was not only in the strategic interests of the Union, but also "our moral duty."

Bloomberg reported that on June 17 the European Commission will recommend granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership of the EU. Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna has previously noted that three countries within the bloc oppose the idea.

The European Parliament on June 8 supported a resolution calling for Ukraine to become a candidate for EU membership with 438 MEPs voting in favor. The leaders of the European Parliament factions on June 9 called on the European Union to grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate status, as well as to work on granting the same status to Georgia.

President Zelensky signed an application for Ukraine's accession to the EU on Feb. 28. He said that after the full-scale invasion of Russia, Ukraine will apply to the European Union for immediate accession under a new special procedure.

It emerged on March 21 that the European Commission had begun work on a conclusion on Ukraine's membership in the EU. The European Commission's conclusion will act as a recommendation to the EU Council to decide on the next steps.

Ukraine submitted the completed second part of the questionnaire to the European Commission on May 9. Zelensky stated that Ukraine expects to receive the status of a candidate for EU membership in June 2022.

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