The European Commission believes that Ukraine will be able to complete the implementation of the remaining reforms by March 2024 which will allow it to further agree on the forthcoming EU membership talks.
A senior official from the European Commission said this to journalists in Brussels on Wednesday.
“What is important here is that the country [Ukraine] has not just achieved over 90% of the seven steps that accompanied last year’s recommendation, but they’ve also made progress in other reforms that are crucial to assess their candidate status. The country has made huge progress and therefore the recommendation is to open the accession negotiations. This recommendation is unconditional. […] We then say that this could start immediately. […] But we also suggest to the Council that the negotiating framework, which is the document that guides the substance of the negotiations, be adopted once Ukraine fulfills four conditions. Four specific reforms in relation to fighting corruption, reducing the influence of oligarchs on lawmakers, and the protection of national minorities,” he said.
According to the senior official, these are “general recommendations, but very specific.”
“When those things have been done, we will report. We think they can be done by March. That is why we have picked the date of March 2024. We will then report to the Council by March 2024. If Ukraine implements all of this and the Council follows our recommendation, then the negotiating framework could be adopted,” he said.