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German FM Baerbock supports Ukraine’s EU membership bid, pushes for EU reforms

Germany’s FM Baerbock is confident in advancing Ukraine’s EU membership and stresses the imperative of readying the EU for expansion, with key concerns including EU funds, the use of veto power, and the size of institutions.
German FM Baerbock supports Ukraine’s EU membership bid, pushes for EU reforms

On 2 November, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for European Union readiness for enlargement as Ukraine seeks membership, highlighting crucial areas for EU reform, including EU funds and the use of vetoes.

Baerbock said she was confident that the EU next month would advance Ukraine’s bid to join the bloc at a summit, according to Reuters.

At the summit scheduled for December 14-15, EU leaders will decide whether to provide Ukraine with the formal initiation of membership negotiations, which is one of the top priority matters for Kyiv.

Baerbock, while speaking at a conference in Berlin, emphasized the geo-strategic importance of EU enlargement. She underscored the need for the 27-nation bloc to concurrently address essential but laborious internal reforms to accommodate more than 30 members effectively.

We want to see Ukraine a member of our European Union,” said Baerbock. “The European Union has to be enlarged. That is the geo-political consequence of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Baerbock said the EU’s step-by-step enlargement must run in parallel with reforms to prevent the further growth of central EU institutions and reduce the use of national vetos, according to Reuters.

“EU reform should not take enlargement as a hostage, and we have to find the right balance between the process of reforming the EU and EU enlargement,” Ukrainian FM Dmytro Kuleba said, speaking at the same conference, stating that Ukraine’s EU accession would strengthen the bloc.

The European Commission will release a report on 8 November assessing Ukraine’s progress toward EU membership and related conditions.

 

 

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