President of the EU Council, Charles Michel, Advocates for Ukraine's Accelerated Accession to the European Union
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, has expressed his support for Ukraine's accession to the European Union by 2030, provided that both sides fulfill the necessary reforms. He made this statement in an interview with Spiegel.
"Yes, Ukraine can become a member of the European Union by 2030 if both sides do their work in accordance with the required criteria," emphasized Charles Michel.
He underscored that Ukraine and other candidate countries must actively implement reforms, combat corruption, and adhere to legal requirements.
"In the European Union, we must have a clear understanding of what we want to achieve together, our priorities, and where we want to allocate funds. And we need to expedite decision-making processes," added the head of the European Council.
Charles Michel also stressed that the European Union cannot afford to waste any more time.
"For instance, Western Balkan countries have been waiting for EU accession for 20 years, and the influence of Russia and China is growing there. A thriving and secure Ukraine is in our own interests. Its resistance to Russia has shown that Ukraine belongs in the EU, and it should happen soon, not someday. This would also demonstrate that the EU is capable of geopolitical action," stated the head of the European Council.
Recently, the issue of reforming the European Union has become relevant in the context of its potential expansion to Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. Twelve experts, supported by France and Germany, considered influential members of the European Union, have presented a plan for structural reform of the union to prepare it for the accession of new states in the future.
At the same time, Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, emphasized that EU reforms should not be used as a means to hinder the membership of new countries.
It is worth noting that, according to Politico, negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU could begin as early as December of this year. Kyiv received candidate status in June, and the European Commission is set to publish its enlargement report in November. Once the progress report is accepted, the Commission will issue a declaration that will encourage the European Union to start negotiations. The European Council must make the relevant decision for this to happen, and European officials anticipate it could take place before December 2023.