EU Ambassador Hints at Ukraine Joining EU Before War Ends

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.01 - 2024 12:52 PM CET

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Photo: Paparazzza / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Paparazzza / Shutterstock.com
EU Ambassador in Kyiv, Hugues Mingarelli, believes that Ukraine could gradually integrate into the European Union even before the current war concludes.

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EU Ambassador in Kyiv, Hugues Mingarelli, believes that Ukraine's integration into the European Union could potentially begin before the current conflict with Russia is resolved.

During a recent interview with Ukrainian news outlet LB.ua, Mingarelli discussed the unprecedented challenges Europe faces due to the war and the possible paths forward for Ukraine's integration.

Adapting to New Realities

According to Mingarelli, the current war has created a unique situation for Europe, necessitating adaptability and potentially allowing for Ukraine's gradual integration into the EU during the conflict.

"This does not mean that the gradual integration of Ukraine during the war is impossible. It is possible. I believe that the most realistic scenario is just a gradual entry. In fact, as it happened with the Baltic countries," Mingarelli said.

He outlined a strategy whereby Ukrainian legislation would be progressively aligned with European standards. In return, Ukraine would gain access to the EU's market and financial systems.

"The first stage of gradual integration is access to the common market and a deep and comprehensive free trade zone. This is a priority for Ukraine," he explained.

Mingarelli also mentioned the integration of Ukraine's energy system with the EU's as a significant step already taken in March 2022, and he advocated for similar integration in terms of the trans-European transport network.

There are numerous European mechanisms that Ukraine could join even before achieving full EU membership. These steps would support Ukraine's closer association with the EU during a period of conflict and uncertainty.

The discussion comes in the wake of a March communication from the European Commission regarding EU enlargement and necessary internal reforms, which advocated for the gradual integration of new members even prior to their full accession.

However, this proposal has reportedly caused apprehension in some EU capitals, especially with the impending European elections, as there are concerns about the enlargement issue attracting excessive attention.

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