Ukraine’s application to be considered when ‘best moment’ comes

5 May, 03:48 PM
Charles Michel did not name the exact date that the council would consider Ukraine's application for EU membership (Photo:Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

Charles Michel did not name the exact date that the council would consider Ukraine's application for EU membership (Photo:Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

In an interview with Interfax-Ukraine, the head of the European Council Charles Michel has said he will submit to the council Ukraine's application for membership of the European Union for debate at the most appropriate time.

"In the council it will be my responsibility to assess when we will be ready to put the topic on the agenda of the European Council,” Michel said. “The time will depend on the content, which will depend on the preparation done together with the member states.

“I’ll consult with all actors in order to assess when it is the best moment, when we will be prepared to hold this debate at the level of the European Council. (Whether) it will be June or later – I’m not able to definitively answer today.”

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Michel said Ukraine's application was already undergoing all of the necessary procedures at an accelerated pace.

"In fact, we took a quick decision: A few days after the application by Ukraine – we decided immediately to task the European Commission with issuing its opinion,” the European Council president said.

“Usually, it takes 8-9 months. De-facto, here we took a decision in a few days."

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on Feb. 28 signed an application for Ukraine's accession to the EU. 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 was reported on March 21 that the European Commission had begun work on a conclusion on Ukraine's membership of the EU. According to Zelensky, the conclusion of the European Commission will be prepared within a few months, and will act as a recommendation for the EU Council to decide on its next steps.

During a visit to Kyiv on April 8, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the Ukrainian leader with a questionnaire on the country's compliance with the Copenhagen criteria, a necessary step in gaining EU candidate status. Georgia and Moldova received such questionnaires a few days after Ukraine — on April 11.

Then, on April 18, President Volodymyr Zelensky presented Matti Maasikas, the head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine, with the completed questionnaire for Ukraine's EU candidate status.

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Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said that Ukraine expects to acquire the status of a candidate for EU membership no later than June 2022.

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