- Ukraine filled in the second part of the questionnaire for membership in the European Union.
- To become a full member of the EU, Ukraine needs to go through five stages; now the country is completing the third (obtaining candidate status).
- A long negotiation process and agreement on joining the bloc by all member states is ahead.
On May 9, 2022, Ukraine submitted the second part of the individual questionnaire required to obtain candidate status to the European Union. Based on its results, the European Commission will decide in June whether Ukraine is ready to become a full member of the EU. Negotiations will continue to determine the conditions for Ukraine’s accession to the European political and economic bloc.
Zaborona covers all stages of accession to the European Union.
Ukraine’s Accession to the EU: What Are the Stages
European Union law provides for a clear membership procedure, which can take decades. For Ukraine, it has been simplified, but the main stages have remained unchanged:
- Signing the Association Agreement.
It is a bilateral agreement between the country and the EU in the field of international politics, economics, education, science and culture, which provides the implementation of the legal framework of the union in the legislation of the ratifying country.
Ukraine signed the political part of the agreement on March 21, 2014, and the economic part on June 27, 2014, but its full ratification took place only on September 1, 2017.
- Inclusion in the official EU enlargement program.
The candidate country must meet the Copenhagen criteria set out in June 1993 by the European Council. Accession to the EU is possible only after the country meets the requirements of these three criteria:
- political: stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and protection of minority rights;
- economic: an efficient market economy;
- legal or institutional: the country’s commitment to «resulting from EU accession, including strict adherence to the objectives of political, economic and monetary union».
Even if the candidate meets these conditions, the decision on any enlargement of the union must be agreed by all member states, as well as the European Parliament.
Ukraine was allowed to miss this step due to a simplified procedure.
- Applying for membership.
According to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, any European state that respects values and is committed to implementing them may apply to the European Council to become a member of the organization.
Ukraine did so on February 28, 2022.
Application for Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. Photo: Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine / Telegram
An individually designed questionnaire is then sent to the applicant country. As for Ukraine, there are two of them, but they are very short and take up only 40 pages:
- the first consists of political and economic parts;
- the second concerns the implementation of EU norms in Ukraine.
Based on the data from the questionnaires, the European Commission should prepare its conclusion: to recommend granting candidate status to the country, or to report that it is not ready for membership and to make a number of recommendations. After the European Commission, the final decision is made by the EU Council.
The second part of the questionnaire was completed and submitted by the Ukrainian authorities on May 9, 2022.
«Ukraine’s response to the second part of the EU accession questionnaire is expected in mid-May. The commission will then assess and probably recommend (potential) EU candidate status in June. The big question is whether all 27 member states will agree», — said journalist Rikard Jozwiak.
According to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Ukraine will receive an answer on the status as a candidate for membership in June this year.
- Negotiation stage.
The conditions under which the country can join the European Union are determined. Based on them, a draft agreement on accession to the EU should be created.
By 2020, the start of negotiations has effectively guaranteed membership in the organization. But now, the European Union can unilaterally suspend or restart negotiations if dissatisfied with the candidate country’s work on meeting the requirements for accession.
- Accession to the EU.
The candidate country must receive most of the votes of the European Parliament, then a conference is convened, and an accession treaty is signed.
The agreement must be ratified by the parliaments of all EU member states and candidate countries, after which the membership takes effect.
Earlier, Zaborona told about the sixth package of European Union sanctions against Russia and Belarus, which includes an embargo on Russian oil and petroleum products.