EU leaders grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate status

EU leaders have voted to promote Ukraine and Moldova to candidate status. Joining the bloc, though, will likely take years with reforms to conform to European standards still required.

Leaders of the European Union on Thursday decided to make Ukraine and Moldova official candidates for membership of the bloc.

European Council President Charles Michel made the announcement after discussions among leaders of the EU’s 27 member states.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu tweeted that the decision was a “strong signal of support for Moldova and our citizens.”

What EU leaders have said

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted his congratulations to the two countries. 

“The European Council welcomes two new candidate countries to join the EU,” said Scholz. “Here’s to good cooperation in the European family.” 

Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told DW the European Union had a window of opportunity to convince Ukraine and Moldova to implement reforms required for European Union accession.

“If you lose this opportunity window because you don’t give hope, then Ukraine and Moldova do not do the reforms that also we need. Getting rid of corruption, also being a rule of law country,” she said.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said the vote had been “unequivocal.” 

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