Why Ukraine Is Not in the EU

The EU has taken a mixed approach to Ukraine’s emergency bid to join the EU. Although the European Commission has stated that Ukraine should be considered a candidate state, the official response from 27 member states is still a matter of debate. But one thing is clear: the EU needs to act now to avoid divisions in the EU.

One thing is for certain: Europe needs to move fast and the battle for Ukraine’s future should be no different. However, a rushed response will not do the country any favors. A robust, multi-sectoral approach is possible. Nonetheless, it will be a tough sell to Ukrainians.

While Ukraine is currently considering joining the EU, the process itself will be long and complex. The European Commission is currently drafting a formal opinion on whether or not Ukraine should become a candidate. As such, there will be a lot of talk about the feasibility of Ukraine’s application and how it might fit into the EU’s overall policy on enlargement.

One thing that is clear is that Ukraine will be required to meet high EU standards in order to enter. For example, the country must make substantive reforms in its gas law. It must also comply with EU rules on transparency, rule of law, and the free press. Moreover, Ukraine’s political class will have to re-educate itself on the advantages of a European Union. Ultimately, the EU will have to decide how much support it can provide to Ukraine.

The European Union has been promoting a new “wider agreement” since 2007. This aims to provide a legal framework for closer economic cooperation and a better political dialogue. Ultimately, the aim of this project is to improve the quality of life of Ukrainian citizens and the economy of the country. In addition, the EU can be seen as a potential partner in the delivery of Western-made battle tanks to Ukraine.

In the EU, the Maastricht Treaty requires an agreement by the European Parliament. The European Commission is currently preparing a formal opinion on Ukraine’s “emergency” application to join the EU. Though this may be a lengthy process, it’s not impossible. At the same time, the European Council should be self-critical about its own enlargement decisions.

Another thing to consider is the Copenhagen Criteria. It’s a set of three rules that must be met in order for a country to be considered for membership in the EU. They include the country’s free-market economy, its rule of law, and its interpretation of the rule of law.

Although the European Union has taken a mixed approach to Ukraine’s application, the process itself is not a total wash. The EU’s capacity to absorb new members is a key factor in enlargement. There are other countries that have been accepted into the EU without the need for a treaty, but that’s not the case with Ukraine.

Nevertheless, the EU should drop its pretense that a country will be admitted to the EU when it’s ready. Instead, it should lead an initiative to deliver Western-made battle tanks to Ukraine.


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