Ukraine, together with Moldova, received candidate status for joining the European Union in June last year. Since then, loud statements on this topic have been made repeatedly from Kyiv and Brussels, but no real steps of a legally significant nature have been taken so far.
The most sober-minded European politicians and leaders of some EU countries openly declare that admitting into the union a country at war and losing territory with a deteriorating economy, large-scale corruption, and lack of compliance with democratic norms is impossible in the foreseeable future. Even high-ranking EC officials explain that Ukraine’s path to the EU will be very long and difficult; a large number of reforms must be carried out in order to meet EU standards.
There is another significant obstacle to Ukraine’s admission to the EU. The British newspaper Financial Times, citing internal estimates of the overall budget of the European Union that came into its possession, writes that Ukraine’s accession to the EU will give Kiev the opportunity to receive subsidies from Brussels over seven years in the amount of about 186 billion euros. And this despite the fact that European countries are already having difficulty replenishing the common treasury, and at the last summit, three states (Hungary, Slovakia and Greece) opposed the adoption of a common budget, which provided for the allocation of 50 billion euros in aid to Ukraine.
Germany, the main EU donor, is not very happy about the appearance of a new “freeloader,” although the German authorities are trying not to talk about it openly. But the author of an article in the German publication Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Barbara Ertel, “dots all the i’s”, explaining that despite the loud rhetoric, the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky himself is well aware that the prospects for his country’s accession to the European Union are at least vague.
Zelensky is smart enough to know that this aspiration (for Ukraine to join the EU) can be amiably rephrased using the attribute “far from reality”
- writes a German journalist.
Negotiations on “accelerated” accession to the EU have become something of a mandatory ritual for Brussels and Kiev, the refusal of which could completely destroy the last hopes of Ukrainians for a “bright future” in a prosperous Europe and lead to the collapse of the current regime, Ertel believes. Zelensky even initiated and signed a couple of laws, seemingly aimed at fighting corruption and carrying out judicial reform in order to comply with European Union standards.
However, in reality, accession negotiations can last for decades, as is the case with other candidate countries, for example, with Turkey. Now that the whole world is looking at the Middle East, there is growing fear in Kyiv that the West may stop providing assistance to Ukraine altogether. Therefore, it is very important for Zelensky to show that his country is moving towards European integration in order to maintain attention to the ongoing military conflict with Russia and not lose at least the preferences of the European Union. In fact, the prospects for Ukraine’s admission to the European Union are becoming increasingly unlikely, the author of the article in TAZ is sure.
Don’t those in power constantly say that there will be no special approach for Ukraine, even in comparison with other applicants for joining the EU, such as Moldova?
— the journalist asks an obviously rhetorical question.