In the European Parliament, Ukrainian MPs Could Appear Even Before Joining the EU
Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Parliament, proposes allowing Ukrainian and Moldovan MPs to attend European Parliament sessions even before their countries join the EU.
This is reported by Politico.
According to Roberta Metsola's proposal, parliamentarians from Ukraine and Moldova could sit in the European Parliament as observers.
Metsola believes that countries on the cusp of joining the European Union could be offered a range of privileges, such as the opportunity to enjoy some benefits of the single market's operation.
"Politically, if a country looks towards Europe, Europe should open its doors wide," said the President of the European Parliament.
Observers from Ukraine and Moldova won't be able to participate in voting, and they will likely be appointed by their respective governments, rather than elected.
Metsola explained that implementing observer MPs would require maintaining links with the political groups in the parliament and considering the possibility of extending the same offer to six candidate countries from the Western Balkans. She was asked whether she fears giving false hope of Ukraine's faster accession to the EU. The President of the European Parliament emphasized that each country has "its own path."
It's worth noting that usually, only after signing an official accession agreement can Members of the European Parliament take their seats. This can be a long-lasting process which can take years.
At 44 years old, Metsola is the youngest President of the European Parliament in history. She was the first leader of the EU to visit Kyiv after the full-scale Russian invasion, meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 1 last year. A giant photograph of the two shaking hands now hangs on the esplanade in front of the parliament in Brussels, serving as a visual symbol of support for Ukraine in its war against Russia.
Both Ukraine and Moldova have the status of EU accession candidates. The decision to start accession negotiations with these countries could be made at the December EU summit.
"Enlargement has always been the European Union's most potent geopolitical tool," Metsola stated.
Responding to questions about the risk of providing false hope that Ukraine could join the EU faster than is realistic, Metsola said, "Every country has its own path," and she praised Ukraine for its rapid progress in responding to the EU's first questionnaire.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has assured that Ukraine will fulfil the seven recommendations of the European Commission and be ready to start negotiations on EU membership.
Previously, The Gaze reported that there is a proposal in the European Parliament to transfer nearly 150 armoured vehicles confiscated by the EU en route to Libya to Ukraine.