Roberta Metsola hopes that the EU will open accession negotiations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova by this year-end
The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, hopes that the EU will open accession negotiations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova by the end of the year, asking that the hopes of these candidate countries not be disappointed, reports Agerpres.
In an interview on Tuesday with European Newsroom, which brings together European news agencies, Metsola was asked about the 2030 date proposed by Council President Charles Michel for EU enlargement.
"Instead of focusing on the date - let's say it's good that there is a date on the table, better to focus on opening accession negotiations by the end of the year," Metsola said.
"If Ukraine and Moldova are ready, accession negotiations should be able to begin, and steps could be taken gradually. Each country goes its own way, but let's not let down the millions of people who consider Europe their home," she urged.
The President of the European Parliament has always shown her support for Ukraine and its accession to the EU. She was the first representative of an EU institution to visit Kyiv in April 2022, after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In June 2022, the EU granted Ukraine the status of candidate for accession, in an extremely symbolic gesture, alongside Moldova. Instead, it denied Georgia that status, demanding more reforms from Tbilisi.
To move to the next step, which is the opening of accession negotiations, the European Commission has defined seven milestones for Kyiv. These are conditions that must be met, especially in terms of the fight against widespread corruption and judicial reforms.
In an interim assessment in June, the Commission found that two criteria had been met and the other five were "at some level of progress".
The EU executive is due to present a report at the end of October on the progress made by Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova and decide whether or not to open accession negotiations, before the 27 member states tackle the issue at the Brussels summit in mid December. These negotiations may take time to lead to accession.
Five Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) also have candidate country status. Some of them were engaged in accession negotiations, in some cases more than ten years ago. Negotiations with Turkey have been blocked for several years.