“I know there were last-minute oscillations basically in the European Commission what should be exactly recommended to Ukraine. The visit of Draghi, Scholz, and Macron influenced the decision of the Commission. I think after they came to Ukraine and expressed their support, Commission couldn`t express any other opinion,” – told Leo Litra, Senior Research Fellow of the New Europe Center, during the public discussion “Granting EU candidate status to Ukraine: caveats and prospects”.
Few other ideas by the expert:
- “It also was an act of balancing because we see that Ukraine accepts preliminary discussions basically on accepting a set of conditions. Ukraine already demonstrated some actions before the summit. We have seen the voting in the parliament for the Istambul convention, which is a very important document. We also saw voting on the anti-corruption plan. This is the political signal that we have the same understanding on both sides. But we need to do and we need to show the progress. This will also pave the way for the positive decision at the summit, which I expect to happen”.
- “The leaders of the EU should understand that not giving candidate status to Ukraine would be devastating and would have a devastating impact for the EU and Ukraine as well. So they should do this because of the public opinion, because of the circumstances, and because in the last year since the implementation of the Association Agreement Ukraine implemented a lot of the provisions of this agreement. I mean we have the numbers were presented by the Ukrainian side, which is 63%. So I think this is all arguments why this happened”.
- “I expect a positive decision at the summit this week, but also I`m quite interested in what would happen after. We need to make sure that we don`t repeat the fate of the Balkans in a way. I think the Balkans case, of course, deserves more, but still, we saw a very slow process with countries being candidates for many years. I hope that for Ukraine the process will be dynamic and we`ll have something in as a milestone between membership and candidate status”, – added Leonid Litra.
- “By giving the candidate status the ball is being moved on the side of Ukraine, so we should show now that it was merited basically. But at the same time if the EU doesn`t go with its internal reform, that means that Ukraine will be also a collateral victim of this process”, – he said.
The recording of the online public discussion is available via the link here.
The event was organized by the Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels in cooperation with the Міжнародниим фонд “Відродження”, the Centre for European Policy Studies, and GLOBSEC and with the support of the European Union.