June 18, 2024

Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine has said that the negotiations of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union will begin in the first half of 2024, when Belgium holds the EU Council presidency.

Source: European Pravda; Ihor Zhovkva following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s meeting with Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander de Croo

Details: Zhovkva said that it is during Belgium’s presidency in the EU Council in the first half of 2024 that the “negotiations on Ukraine’s membership in the EU will actually begin”.

“Belgium’s presidency will be more than symbolic. Our partner will support Ukraine from the EU’s very ‘institutional heart’,” Zhovkva added, stressing the fact that key EU institutions are located in Brussels.

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Background:

  • On 3 October, Politico reported that EU leaders were preparing to give their political consent to what is expected to be a positive decision by the European Commission on Ukraine’s readiness to start accession talks in December.

  • The European Commission is expected to publish a report on how well Ukraine and other EU accession candidates are fulfilling accession conditions in November.

  • It is, however, the EU member states and not the European Commission that will have to vote on the beginning of accession negotiations. They will have to vote unanimously to approve the decision.

  • Ukraine has not yet fulfilled the seven criteria for accession and continues to fail to implement one of the EU recommendations that several EU member-states consider crucial: legislation on Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

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