European leaders expected to back Ukraine, Moldova EU candidacy

European leaders expected to back Ukraine, Moldova EU candidacy
European Council President, Charles Michel. Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

EU leaders gather on Thursday and Friday to discuss Ukraine and Moldova's bids for EU membership, with the European Council expected to give the green light to the candidacy status of both countries.

The move would be a symbolic win for Kyiv during the ongoing war with Russia, despite the fact that the accession process could take decades.

Last week, the European Commission recommended candidate status for both Ukraine and Moldova, while including key matters for the countries to work on.

These steps included implementing laws to make sure qualified judges are selected, curbing the influence of oligarchs as well as improving its approach to anti-corruption.

Further steps for Georgia's path to candidacy are expected to be laid out as well after the country was denied EU candidacy status over governance and democratic standards, mainly due to the current ruling party's ties to oligarchs.

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The move came despite an overwhelming show of support for EU status by the Georgian people in a mass demonstration in Tbilisi this week on 17 June.

Becoming a candidate does not immediately entail membership to the club, and there could still be surprise objections, even if the EU27 so far seem aligned. Nonetheless, the move on Thursday marks a historic step and sends a key signal to Russia.

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