Here’s What Came Of the Kyiv-EU Summit Yesterday – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with EU leaders in Kyiv on Friday.
And while the gathering didn’t result in an agreement to expedite Ukraine’s application to join the political and economic bloc, it did see EU officials pledge yet more support to the country.
Ukraine and the EU: What Happened?
15 European Commissioners, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, traveled to Kyiv this week to meet with their Ukrainian counterparts.
Discussions focused on Ukraine’s application to become a European Union member state, how the EU and Ukraine will work more closely together in the future regardless of application status, and how Europe intends to aid Ukraine in its efforts to resist Russian aggression.
It is the first meeting of its kind since the war began and comes a day after the Ukrainian president said that his country “deserves” to be given a fast-tracked application process.
Speaking to EuroNews, Camille Grand, a former senior NATO official said that the fact so many European Union officials traveled to Kyiv reflects the bloc’s commitment to defending Ukraine.
“So that’s something that is valuable and I think that the Ukrainians themselves appreciate,” Grand said. “And let’s remember then this whole a lot of this conversation started back in 2014 when the Ukrainian population signaled its European aspirations on Maidan Square. So this is, I think, something that is in itself a very positive signal,” Grand added.
More Commitment But No EU Membership
The EU is certainly committed to helping Ukraine, though full membership doesn’t seem to be on the cards – at least for now.
A joint statement that was published when the summit came to an end summarized the topics of discussion and the path forward, and it did not include a reference to a fast-tracked membership application. In the meantime, Ukraine remains in full-candidate status.
The statement did, however, reaffirm the European Union’s willingness to grant membership to Ukraine once a series of major reforms have been completed.
“The EU reiterated that the Commission has been invited to report on the fulfilment of the conditions specified in the Commission’s opinion on Ukraine’s membership application as part of its regular enlargement package in 2023,” the joint statement reads.
The statement also stated that EU officials “acknowledged the considerable efforts that Ukraine demonstrated in the recent months towards meeting the objectives underpinning its candidate status for EU membership, welcomes Ukraine’s reform efforts in such difficult times, and encouraged the country to continue on this path and to fulfill the conditions specified in the Commission’s opinion on its membership application in order to advance towards future EU membership.”
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Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.