The European Commission showed a geopolitical leadership and recommended to grant the candidate status to Ukraine. This is a historic decision for the whole EU, which has in fact accepted Ukraine to the European family and which will contribute to further increases of EU support to fight the Russian war of aggression.
This decision has embraced the determination and heroic sacrifices of the Ukrainian people to defend European values, democracy and our way of life.
But not only that. It is also a recognition of Ukraine’s European integration efforts that have been steadily gaining a momentum since 2014, when Ukraine signed the Association Agreement with the EU. It has also proved the EU assistance deployed by the Support Group for Ukraine established by the unique decision of the European Commission in 2014 to be a very effective.
Finally, this is also an acknowledgment of an ambitious Ukraine’s EU agenda in such sectors as land reform, de-oligarchisation, an ambitious reform of anticorruption institutions, e-declarations, successfully accomplished public administration reform, lead achievements in the area of public procurement reform and pro-zorro, digitalisation of public services, and finally, regional policy refom and decentralisation which has empowered local communities and gave them fiscal capacity to provide effective services.
Over the last eight years Ukraine has made a saut qualitatif, demonstrated vibrancy and strength of its institutions with a determination to stay on reforms along the lines as recommended in today’s opinion.
The Commission’s opinion for Ukraine and Moldova are similar in a sense they use the
methodology from the previous opinions for the Western Balkan countries. Moldova made a huge progress with de-oligarchisation, anticorruption agenda and by fighting the Russian interference in cases of Plahotniuc and Dodon.
Now the ball is in the courtyard of the European leaders who will meet next week. Will they show the strenght and determination to embark on the path of accession process and negotiations to stear the European aspirations of the applicant countries that are up to this task?
The Commission did not grant the candidate status to Georgia, but instead it made another wise step forward and recommended to give the country a European perspective. Further to that, it has showed a path for Georgia what should be done for the candidate status in such challenging areas as fighting the corruption, vested interests and oligarchisation of the public sector. This was a new step by the Commission in the assessment, which has been never done before.
Georgia got a credit and a chance, which should not be wasted. The fate of Georgia now rests in the hands of its institutions and the people.
The clock is ticking.