The Heads of State and Government of the 27 decided, on Thursday at the Brussels summit, to follow the recommendation of the European Commission and to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of countries “candidates for membership to the European Union.
The Summit “has just decided on the candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova”, tweeted the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who described the decision as “historic”.
Today “marks a crucial step on your way to the EU”, he addressed Ukraine and Moldova.
“Today is a good day for Europe,” reacted the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
“Your countries are part of our European family,” she added, addressing the Ukrainian, Moldovan and Georgian leaders.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed “sincerely the decision of EU leaders”, welcoming this “unique and historic moment in relations between Ukraine and the EU”. “The future of Ukraine is in the EU,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Moldovan President, Maia Sandu, stressed that the decision to grant the status of candidate country to the EU is a “strong and unequivocal signal of support for our citizens and for the European future” of the country, assuring of its commitment to “advance on the path of reform”.
Georgia, which had officially applied for membership on the same day as Moldova, will also have candidate status when certain priorities have been settled, specified Charles Michel.
The leaders of the 27 thus followed the recommendation of the European Commission, which had been tasked with evaluating the dossiers of the three countries. The European executive had delivered its opinion last Friday.
The desire for a European future for kyiv, Chisinau and Tbilisi was suddenly accelerated with the outbreak of war in Ukraine on February 24th. Ukraine officially submitted its application for membership on 28 February. Moldova and Georgia followed a few days later, on March 3.