On Thursday, the Twenty-seven sent a clear message about Ukraine's European perspective with formal approval of Ukraine's status as a candidate to join the EU. They did not set deadlines and made it clear that the process will continue as long as the country follows the EU standards. As the community leaders acknowledged, the green light given by the community leaders was primarily a political interpretation. It is a sign that the community leaders support the Ukrainian people against the Russian invasion.
According to the Brussels proposal, there will be a review at year's end before deciding on the next steps for Kyiv. The European Council accepted the candidature for Moldova. Georgia was not so lucky. The European Council and the Community Executive both recognize Georgia's European ambitions, but they ask for deeper reforms in order to allow it to consider future membership.
Five countries are still waiting to join the EU. Turkey is the oldest country, and has been since 1999.
Adhesion process. Brussels warns that there will not be any shortcuts in the approval of kyiv
In the early stages, the European summit was able to resolve the issue on Ukraine. The meeting was attended by all Member States with a wide agreement on kyiv’s candidacy. This avoided the traditional reticence from France and Germany about European enlargement. Macron, the French President, admitted that the green light for Ukraine and Moldova's candidacy has to do with their political context. He said, "We would have made an error in politics and created a vacuum strategically if we hadn't reached out to Ukraine."
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, tried to reach agreement with an international telephone marathon. He spoke with 11 European leaders that day. Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the Commission, also urged the Twenty-seven leaders to "rise up" and support kyiv. Brussels has called for a number of reforms in Ukraine to make it more European. These include the creation of an anti-corruption organization and improvements in the protection of the rule of the law.
Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, assured Charles Michel upon his arrival that it was a crucial moment, a geopolitical decision that would compromise the future stability and prosperity of the European Union.
The approval of Ukraine's candidacy by the Irish Prime Minister was a "message to solidarity" for the people of Kiev, he said. Alexander De Croo (his Belgian counterpart) also considered Ukraine's granting of the status "historic". He said, "It doesn't mean that accession will be done fast, it will take long, but the signal was important." Gitanas Nauseda (the president of Lithuania) described the day as a "happy moment" because of the "very important" political support.
The processing of Ukraine's application for membership has taken place in record time. This has caused discomfort among the Western Balkans. Von der Leyen attempted to calm the emotions of the very passionate hours preceding the session and stated that there would be no shortcuts for any aspiring country. The process will be slow and require a roadmap. This is something that community leaders are fully aware of. On Thursday, the President of the European Council used his speech to emphasize that it was time to revive the Western Balkans accession process.
Macron's May proposal to create a European political community that promotes alliances with countries that support the EU's values was on the table. It is hoped that candidate countries will be able to work closer with the Member States, while still waiting for full partner status. Macron said that the initiative was welcomed "in a positive manner" and that it will allow for a more open and stronger Europe and strengthen ties with neighbouring countries. The French leader stated that it was a capital issue now that Europe has been liberated from war.
Although Western Balkan leaders supported Ukraine's bid for membership, Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of Albania, warned that Ukrainians should not be "in denial" about a process that could last decades.
At the end of the meeting, leaders from the Balkan countries were angry and called the European summit "historical in negative." After Bulgaria's veto, the meeting failed to make any tangible progress towards its accession to the bloc.