EU launches membership talks with Moldova and Ukraine


EU Officially Launches Accession Talks with Ukraine and Moldova

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The European Union is set to formally begin accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova following the approval from the bloc’s member states last week. The initiation of these negotiations will be marked by a ceremony in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Although the process is expected to be lengthy and challenging, the commencement of talks will provide significant encouragement to Ukraine, which is currently grappling with war, as well as to Moldova, both of whom are striving to break away from their Soviet past.

Last week’s agreement by the EU’s 27 members overcame efforts by Hungary, a nation with strong ties to Russia, to block the move. The ceremony on Tuesday afternoon will be the starting point of a rigorous process.

Full-scale negotiations will only begin after the EU completes a thorough screening of Ukraine’s and Moldova’s legislation to determine the necessary reforms to meet the bloc’s standards.

Despite the initiation of talks, there is no certainty that they will culminate in EU membership. Other countries, such as Turkey and several Western Balkan states, have been entangled in the accession process for years without resolution.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has accelerated the EU’s expansion efforts, much to Moscow’s displeasure. In December, the EU granted candidate status to Georgia, though the nation has since faced significant political turmoil that could hinder its progress.

For Ukraine, the launch of negotiations represents a major morale boost amid its ongoing conflict with Russia. The roots of the conflict trace back to the 2014 Maidan uprising, which resulted in the ousting of then-president Viktor Yanukovych after he abandoned plans to forge closer ties with the EU. Ukraine submitted its bid to join the EU immediately following the Russian invasion in February 2022.

Moldova, facing threats from Russia to its pro-Western government, followed suit shortly after.

“These are truly historic moments. Ukraine is and will always be part of a united Europe,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated when the EU members agreed to start the talks. “Millions of Ukrainians, and indeed generations of our people, are realizing their European dream.”

Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna will lead the Ukrainian delegation at the event, officially termed an Accession Conference in EU terminology. Moldova’s delegation will be headed by Prime Minister Dorin Recean. Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib will represent the EU, as Belgium currently holds the bloc’s rotating presidency.

The meetings on Tuesday will kick off a process of evaluating the alignment of Ukrainian and Moldovan laws with EU standards and identifying the reforms required. The EU will then outline conditions for negotiations on 35 topics, ranging from taxation to environmental policy.

Progress towards the next step in the accession process appears unlikely in the coming six months, during which Hungary will hold the EU’s rotating presidency.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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