MEPs say work on Ukraine’s EU future must start now

February 3,2023 567
MEPs say work on Ukraine’s EU future must start now

Ahead of the EU-Ukraine summit, members of the European Parliament reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine’s EU membership, reiterating the need for a merit-based accession process, according to a press release published on the EP website.

On Thursday, Parliament adopted a resolution detailing its expectations for the upcoming summit between EU and Ukrainian political leaders in Kyiv on Feb. 3. Addressing Ukraine’s EU membership perspective, the text demands the EU “work towards the start of the accession negotiations and to support a roadmap outlining the next steps to enable Ukraine’s accession to the EU single market.” Restating their commitment to Ukraine’s future EU membership following the country’s formal application on Feb. 28, 2022, MEPs stress that accession is a merit-based process involving respect for relevant procedures, and the fulfilment of EU related reforms and accession criteria.

They also invite the Ukrainian authorities to introduce substantial reforms to effectively align with EU membership criteria as soon as possible.

EU should step up its support to Ukraine

Parliament urges EU member states to increase and accelerate their military assistance to Kyiv, in particular the provision of weapons, but also essential political, economic, infrastructural, financial and humanitarian support.

It also calls on leaders at the forthcoming EU-Ukraine summit to prioritize a comprehensive recovery package for Ukraine. This package must focus on relief, reconstruction and recovery in the short-, medium- and long-term. Support would further help encourage economic growth in Ukraine after the war.

Assessing Ukraine’s reconstruction needs, the resolution also reiterates Parliament’s call for the use of frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank as well as assets of Russian oligarchs to finance post-war reconstruction.

Tougher EU action against Moscow needed

Emphasizing the importance of EU countries continuing to show unity in the face of Russia’s aggression, MEPs call on member states to adopt a tenth package of sanctions against Moscow as soon as possible and to continuously and proactively propose new sectors and individuals for targeting.

Parliament also calls for the sanctioning of companies such as Lukoil and Rosatom, which are still present on the EU market. Officials involved in a broad range of illegal activities, including forced deportations and the administration of fake referenda on occupied Ukrainian territory, should also be subject to sanction.

The resolution finally reiterates MEPs’ calls for an immediate and full embargo on EU imports of fossil fuels and uranium from Russia, and for the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea to be completely abandoned.

The text was adopted with 489 votes in favor, 36 against with 49 abstentions.

Photo: MEPs see Ukraine as a future member of the European Union © European Union 2023 – EP