Friday 17 June 2022 01:10 PM EU gives its blessing to Ukraine and Moldova becoming official candidates to ... trends now

Friday 17 June 2022 01:10 PM EU gives its blessing to Ukraine and Moldova becoming official candidates to ... trends now
Friday 17 June 2022 01:10 PM EU gives its blessing to Ukraine and Moldova becoming official candidates to ... trends now

Friday 17 June 2022 01:10 PM EU gives its blessing to Ukraine and Moldova becoming official candidates to ... trends now

The European Union today gave its blessing to Ukraine and its neighbour Moldova to become an official candidate to join the bloc - with EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen announcing the move wearing blue and yellow.  

The move represents an historic eastward shift in Europe's outlook brought about by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which dramatically shattered peace in Europe and changed the perception of the bloc's leaders.

Ukraine applied to join the EU just four days after Russian troops poured across its border in February. Four days later, so did Moldova and Georgia - two other ex-Soviet states contending with separatist regions occupied by Russian troops.

'Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the country's aspiration and the country's determination to live up to European values and standards,' the EU's executive Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said in Brussels.

She made the announcement during a press conference of Friday wearing Ukrainian colours, a yellow blazer over a blue shirt. Ukrainians were 'ready to die' for the 'European dream,' she said.

The European Union today gave its blessing to Ukraine and its neighbour Moldova to become an official candidate to join the bloc - with EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen announcing the move wearing blue and yellow (pictured) - a show of support for Ukraine

The European Union today gave its blessing to Ukraine and its neighbour Moldova to become an official candidate to join the bloc - with EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen announcing the move wearing blue and yellow (pictured) - a show of support for Ukraine

Leaders of EU countries are expected to endorse the decision at a summit next week. The leaders of the three biggest - Germany, France and Italy - had signalled their solidarity on Thursday by visiting Kyiv, along with the president of Romania.

'Ukraine belongs to the European family,' Germany's Olaf Scholz said after meeting President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv's presidential palace.

The Commission recommended candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova, but held off for Georgia, which it said must meet more conditions first. Von der Leyen said Georgia has a strong application but had to come together politically. A senior diplomat close to the process cited setbacks in reforms there.

Ukraine and Moldova will still face a lengthy process to achieve the standards required for membership, and there are other candidates in the waiting room. 

Nor is membership guaranteed - talks have been stalled for years with Turkey, officially a candidate since 1999.

But launching the candidacy process, a move that would have seemed unthinkable just months ago, amounts to a shift on par with the decision in the 1990s to welcome the ex-Communist countries of Eastern Europe.

The move represents an historic eastward shift in Europe's outlook brought about by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which dramatically shattered peace in Europe and changed the perception of the bloc's leaders. Pictured: EU and Ukraine flags outside European Parliament

The move represents an historic eastward shift in Europe's outlook brought about by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which dramatically shattered peace in Europe and changed the perception of the bloc's leaders. Pictured: EU and Ukraine flags outside European Parliament

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives for the weekly College meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels on June 17, 2022

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives for the weekly College meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels on June 17, 2022

'Precisely because of the bravery of the Ukrainians, Europe can create a new history of freedom, and finally remove the grey zone in Eastern Europe between the EU and Russia,' Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

'Ukraine has come close to the EU, closer than any time since independence,' he said, mentioning unspecified 'good news' to come.

If admitted, Ukraine would be the EU's largest

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