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The European Commission recommends starting negotiations to join the European Union with Ukraine and Moldova

The European Commission recommends starting negotiations to join the European Union with Ukraine and Moldova

The European Commission recommends that other EU bodies begin accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova; The body of commissioners also recommended that Georgia also obtain candidate status, and that accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina begin as soon as the country is sufficiently eligible. He’s done enough to membership standards

– The Executive Body of the European Union announced on his Twitter page on Wednesday.

Ukraine, a victim of Russian wartime aggression, and Moldova, which has been subject to serious economic and political influence attempts by Russia, received candidate member status in June 2022. In the past two years, the European Commission has redirected tens of billions of Hungarian forints to the two candidate countries. To Russia and Belarus, for which they would have been entitled through the Interreg NEXT EU programs for the period 2021-2027. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video message Welcome him Decision, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on a historic day Wire.

The Hungarian government also supports the candidacy of Georgia for membership in the Union, which is in conflict with Russia over the secession of South Ossetia and Abkhazia – the economic and cultural considerations behind this support are described in this article.

At their summit in December 2022, the Heads of State and Government of the EU Member States decided to define the official (also known as potential) membership candidate status for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which serves as a waiting room for the actual membership candidacy. POLITICO Wednesday Breakfast the news On this basis, the European Commission was also at a loss about what to do with the Balkan country, while Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia had already been agreed upon at a preparatory meeting. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday Talk about it, said that although Bosnia and Herzegovina has achieved a lot of progress, they note with concern the unconstitutional laws in the Serbian part of the two-party state. It is led by Milorad Dodik, who has an amazingly close relationship with Viktor Orban, and we wrote more about this here.

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Member states are expected to make their decision in December

Key steps in the enlargement process, such as the start of negotiations and nomination for EU membership, are decided unanimously by EU countries, meaning any one of them can have veto power. According to plans, leaders of member states will meet next December, so that they can then decide on the committee’s recommendations.

However, the European Commission also warns that candidates for EU membership must implement a series of reforms, from strengthening democratic institutions to combating corruption and organized crime. The Commission State report Accordingly, Ukraine must, among other things, address the minority recommendations of the Venice Commission (we wrote more about the topic here).

The Hungarian government also referred to these matters several times. In October, EU Affairs Minister János Buka said that Hungary supports EU enlargement, but “we want to see tangible progress” on minority rights before Ukraine’s accession negotiations begin. Hungarians in Transcarpathia should regain the rights they gained in 2015, and the Ukrainian authorities should negotiate with representatives of Hungarians in Ukraine. “I see that Ukraine now understands that it has to have a dialogue with us,” but it remains to be verified whether there is “real political will” behind this.

Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday ProposalTo formally open negotiations, but member states will not accept their negotiating framework (i.e. their own position on the basis of which the European Commission can negotiate with Ukraine in practice) if the eastern member candidate completes the ongoing reforms. The European Commission will report on this next March. The EU initially expected to take steps in seven areas, including minority rights. According to the committee chairman, “more than 90 percent” of the requirements have been met. the Detailed Report Four out of seven regions are considered completely closed, but not minority protection, anti-corruption and anti-oligarch measures.

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The slow-moving Western Balkans are consoled by a six-billion-euro plan

The example of the Balkan countries shows that it usually takes many years from the beginning of negotiations for a country to join the European Union. For example With Montenegro Officially in 2012, With Serbia Negotiations began in 2014, at the end of which EU legislation divided into chapters should be adopted (possibly with individually negotiated exceptions and transition periods) and preparations should be made to receive EU subsidies. Based on the summaries published with the reports, only out of 33 countries with Montenegro so far three The chapter has been temporarily closed, with Serbia out of 35 twowhile nearly a dozen have not yet opened.

As we wrote, for example, in our report on Serbia last year, some people are tired of years of waiting, and Montenegro, relative to the size of the country, has a highway built with a huge Chinese loan. Perhaps precisely to avoid similar situations – at the same time as reports of countries waiting to join – the Western Balkans grow worth six billion euros Plan Also announced.

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