Zelenskyy tells EU ‘prove you are with us'
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With the EU recently voting to grant Ukraine “candidate status”, the process of becoming a fully-fledged member of the bloc is still a long way off. Although some current member countries have lobbied to accelerate the membership application, others are more cautious, suggesting the process will not happen overnight.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Rudi Wurzel, a Professor of Comparative European Politics from the University of Hull said Ukraine’s candidate status offers no guarantees in the future.
He said: “It does not guarantee Ukraine EU membership.
“Any EU member state represented in the European Council could veto EU accession of Ukraine regardless of what the European Parliament and/or Commission have recommended.”
Asked how Ukraine’s potential membership in the European Union would affect the ongoing crisis with Russia, Professor Wurzel said: “Ukraine EU membership would be mainly a symbolic gesture.
“It would possibly bolster the morale of the pro-EU Ukrainian population.
“Russia would almost definitely strongly condemn such a symbolic gesture although it would not have any impact on the situation on the ground.”
Poland is one of numerous EU member nations showing support for Ukraine joining the bloc.
Poland’s Foreign Minister has said his country will do everything possible to assist Ukraine in its efforts to join the European Union.
Zbigniew Rau wrote on Twitter on Monday: “Poland has always been in favour of Ukraine’s membership in the EU.
“Today, when Ukrainians are heroically defending their country against Russian aggression, it is high time to welcome Ukraine into the European Union.
“Poland will provide Ukraine with all necessary assistance in Ukraine’s accession process.”
France and Germany however have warned ascension into the European Union relies on a legal and valid process.
German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock said: “Everyone is aware, as the president of the Commission emphasized yesterday, joining the EU is not something that can be done in a few months, but it involves an intensive and far-reaching transformation process.”
From the French perspective, an Elysée Palace official said France welcomed Ukraine’s EU aspirations but they should be part of a broader debate on the future of the bloc, also including other would-be members.
An official was quoted as saying: “We must be careful not to make promises we cannot keep.”
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Professor Wurzel also argued some member states may veto Ukraine’s membership in the Union.
He said: “It seems unlikely all EU member states would be willing to endorse full EU membership of Ukraine.
“Hungary is one of several member states which may possibly veto such a symbolic decision.
“The Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán, who heads the right-wing nationalist Fidesz Party, has shown sympathy for Putin in the past, although not since the invasion of Ukraine.
“This is in line with the view taken by many leaders of anti-EU right-wing populist parties on the continent.
“So far, Hungary has supported the tough sanctions adopted by the EU against Russia.
“However, Hungary is currently not allowing weapons for Ukraine to be delivered through its territory.”
SHOULD UKRAINE JOIN THE EUROPEAN UNION? WILL OTHER MEMBER STATES VETO THE APPLICATION? HOW WILL RUSSIA RESPOND IF UKRAINE JOIN THE EU? HEAD DOWN TO OUR COMMENTS SECTION BELOW AND JOIN THE DEBATE – EVERY VOICE MATTERS!
Dan Bilefsky, writing in the New York Times also mentioned other nations are already in the queue to join and have been waiting longer than Ukraine.
He said: “Sweden and Finland managed to join the Union in a few years after applying — a speedy approach is rare.
“Moreover, other countries have been waiting for years to join, including Albania, Bosnia and Serbia, making it difficult for the EU to move faster on Ukraine.”
A spokesperson from the Hungarian Government told Express.co.uk: “PM Orbán and Minister Péter Szijjarto made it clear several times that we are not vetoing any EU decision.”
This was reflected in a tweet by Foreign Minister Szijarto who said: “Hungary supports Ukraine’s EU member candidate status as soon as possible.”
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