European Commission president says Ukraine has long road ahead before joining EU



1st July 2022 – (Brussels) Ukraine’s candidate status to join the EU is something that was hard to imagine just five months ago and the country still has a long way to go before becoming a member, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a speech to the Ukrainian parliament on Friday.

“Ukraine is a candidate country to join the European Union, something that seemed almost unimaginable just five months ago,” she said in the speech by video link. “So today is first and foremost a moment to celebrate this historic milestone, a victory of determination and resolve and a victory for the whole movement that started eight years ago on the Maidan.”

She said Ukraine will move along the European path along with rebuilding the country. New reforms, she said, will have to accompany lavish investment that will rush into the country. Anti-corruption agencies need tools and the right people that should be appointed as soon as possible, the European official said.

Von der Leyen said the judicial system requires changes and legislation needs to be in place that will remove the control of oligarchs over Ukraine’s economy and politics.

“There’s a long road ahead for Ukraine but Europe will be at your side every step of the way. For every reform, for as long as it takes,” the EC president said.

An EU summit on June 23 granted Ukraine the candidate status to join the EU and set conditions that need to be met before accession talks could start. They include stepping up the fight on corruption, conducting a judicial reform and a deoligarchisation.