Tuesday, May 17

The European Commission promises Zelensky to speed up the EU accession process

Full EU political support for Ukraine. The visit of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the head of diplomacy, Josep Borrell, to kyiv, the capital of a country bombed by Russia, sends a clear message: they are the highest dignitaries who have entered in the invaded country to meet with its president, Volodymyr Zelensky. But also to witness the consequences of the Bucha massacre.

The President of the European Commission and Borrell, in front of the Bucha massacre

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But political support has also become a promise. That of Von der Leyen before Zelenski during the joint press conference this Friday in kyiv: “We are on your side in your dream of Europe. Volodymyr, my message today is very clear. Ukraine belongs to the European family. We have heard your request loud and clear. And today we are here to give you a first positive answer. In this envelope, dear Vladimir, there is an important step towards joining the EU. The questionnaire that is here is the basis for our discussion in the coming weeks. It is where your path to Europe and the European Union begins. This questionnaire that I am giving you has to be answered because they are questions that later form the opinion of the European Union as a recommendation to the Council. We are ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you complete. We know a lot about each other because we have been working together very intensively for the last few years. So it won’t be, as usual, a matter of years to form this opinion, it will be a matter of weeks if we work closely together.”

The 27 gave the transfer, also in days, the request for accession of Ukraine to the European Commission, in charge of carrying out the evaluation process. Once its evaluation is finished, the European Commission returns the file to the Council (the governments), so that they can finish making a decision. And this examination, that of the European Commission, is the one that Von ser Leyen has promised to speed up to “weeks”.

At the beginning of the process, the Council was divided between those calling for accelerated accession (Poland and Eastern countries); and among those who considered that the enlargement of the EU should not be used as a political element and were committed to respecting the times.

An example of how the usual times of enlargement are are the Balkan countries, which have been in the process for decades, which entails political, democratic and economic reforms to put the country on a par with the rest of the EU. Now, once the European Commission finishes its evaluation, it will be seen what position the 27 hold in this regard.

“I am deeply convinced that Ukraine will win this war”, said Von der Leyen: “Democracy will win this war. Freedom will win this war. And the right of each country to forge its own future. And we will work together with Ukraine to rebuild Ukraine, and that means investments and reforms, and that will forge its path to the European Union.”

Von der Leyen has visited Bucha with Borrell: “It was important to start my visit in Bucha today. Because in Bucha our humanity was shattered. It is only fair that the world has voted to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. This war is a challenge to the entire international community at a decisive moment. Will the appalling devastation win or will humanity prevail? Will the right to power or the rule of law prevail? Will there be constant conflicts and struggles or a future of common prosperity?

“It is very special for your visit to Bucha”, Zelensky said: “It is a very powerful signal that speaks to the world and tells him that Ukraine and the EU are united in this fight for justice, dignity and values. Human life is a value, let’s work together. It is important for every Ukrainian, for all our children who can see their lives in the future in Ukraine.”

Zelensky has insisted on his appeal to the EU: “It is where we belong. The goal is to be in the EU. The most important thing is that we share the values ​​and we have shown it because we fight with all our strength for those values, for the right of our people to choose the world in which they can live, with the hope of a free country.”

“As the president of a liberal and peaceful state,” Zelensky said, “I don’t like to talk about weapons, but we have to protect our freedom, our lives, our territorial integrity and, most importantly, all our people. It is our treasure, our unity, our strength. I would like to thank Ursula von der Leyen personally for the fifth package of sanctions, but it is not enough because they have taken a lot from us, the territories, the people. And we are going to recover the territories, but we cannot bring those people back to life, unfortunately. This is a great responsibility, keep helping us with the sanctions. It is the only way because Russia can only understand this kind of language.”