Czech foreign minister: EU accession negotiations for Ukraine should begin soon

Jan Lipavský also admitted that Ukraine has substantial work ahead in adapting its legal framework to align with EU standards.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 03.10.2023 10:27:00 (updated on 03.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia has voiced its support for the initiation of accession negotiations between the EU and Ukraine this autumn or early next year. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský conveyed this stance during a recent meeting of EU foreign ministers in Kyiv. Lipavský emphasized that the meeting was not merely symbolic but aimed at finding practical solutions, acknowledging that Ukraine would continue to require EU assistance.

Still work to do

Lipavský articulated that EU membership for Ukraine would provide a significant security guarantee, given the EU's commitment to peace. However, he also acknowledged that Ukraine has substantial work ahead in adapting its legal framework to align with EU standards.

The Czech Republic's clear position is that EU accession negotiations with Ukraine should commence in the fall or early the following year. This process would involve a technical assessment of Ukraine's readiness, identifying areas that require further development. Lipavský emphasized the importance of Ukraine adopting necessary standards and aligning its legal system with EU norms, asserting that this is in Europe's best interest.

Josep Borrell, the head of EU diplomacy, made significant announcements during the meeting, including a proposal for additional funding for Ukraine from the European Peace Facility. This funding could amount to up to five billion euros (approximately CZK 122 billion) for the upcoming year, providing much-needed support to Ukraine.

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EU entry would be practical

Lipavský underscored that this meeting was not merely symbolic but a practical example of addressing crucial issues on the ground, particularly in light of Russia's ongoing aggression. EU ministers engaged in discussions with Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Notably, this meeting marked several historic milestones. It was the first time that representatives of all EU27 countries convened outside the EU. Additionally, it represented the first ministerial meeting in one of the EU candidate countries and the first time that heads of diplomacy met in a nation at war.

Ukraine, along with Moldova, attained candidate status for EU accession last year. In December, the 27 EU member countries are set to determine whether to commence accession talks with Kyiv. However, unanimous support is required, with potential obstacles, including Hungary's stance and uncertainties regarding Bratislava, where Prime Minister-elect Robert Fico's Smér-SD party secured victory in recent elections. The decision will play a pivotal role in shaping Ukraine's future and its relationship with the EU.

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