The EU must reform to integrate Ukraine, according to Charles Michel
The European Union (EU) must prepare for Ukraine’s accession and address the sensitive subject of the reforms to be carried out in order to be able to integrate this country, an agricultural giant, warns Charles Michel, the President of the European Council in an interview with AFP before the opening of a summit of the Twenty-Seven in Brussels.
“But we should not wait until the last moment if, in December, the European Commission report recommends opening accession negotiations with Ukrainehe points out. We must say how we finance and organize financial solidarity and avoid discovering that we have a problem of absorption. »
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who will take part in discussions with European leaders by videoconference on Thursday, is calling for the opening of accession negotiations by the end of 2023. This decision requires the approval of the 27 member states of the EU.
In June 2022, the EU granted Ukraine candidate status in a highly symbolic gesture following Russia’s invasion of the country. Nine other countries, including Serbia, Kosovo, Moldova and Turkey, are knocking on the door of the EU.
The candidates have ” Homeworks “more “The Twenty-Seven must not close their eyes and pretend not to have seen that they also have duties”, insists the President of the Council. While Charles Michel is not expecting decisions on this subject during this two-day summit, he wants “start a process” et “prepare for the next meetings”.
Enlargement will be at the heart of the discussions at the summits in Granada in Spain and in Brussels at the end of the year, with the recommendations of the Commission for the accession applications of Ukraine, Moldova and Western Balkan countries that have candidate status. “My role is to set up a method”underlines the President of the European Council. “If the Commission proposes to start negotiations, we have to see the impact this will have for decision-making, common policies, funding”he explains.
“Europe must not fear the debate”he insists, pointing out that enlargement « aura[it] an impact on agriculture, cohesion, the budget”. “We need an exact picture of the means available, to know how the money has been used, what reorientations are necessary. »