EU candidate status: factors that may stymie progress

May 20,2022 267
EU candidate status: factors that may stymie progress

Alyona Hetmanchuk, director of the New Europe Center, analyzed key potential roadblocks on the path to EU candidate status for Ukraine.  The one potential hurdle is the EU’s desire to complete internal reforms before adding to the enlargement list.  The current enlarged EU is beleaguered by problems arising when individual states hold up decision making, especially countries that are backsliding on European values, for example, Hungary and weakened rule of law.

Another argument is the queuing of other potential member states such as Northern Macedonia and Albania in the Western Balkans who have been waiting for candidate status. Ms Hetmanchuk discusses four possible offers for Ukraine during the EC meeting in June. The first is an unconditional recommendation to grant candidate status.  The second is a conditional recommendation contingent upon a set of preconditions.

The third option is to offer Ukraine a European promise without further advancement. The fourth option is to offer the potential candidate status that currently exists in Bosnia and Kosovo. It is possible that the conclusion will contain a mix of two options – especially the second and fourth.

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