The Azerbaijan State News Agency


Ukraine and Moldova enter formal membership talks with the European Union

Ukraine and Moldova enter formal membership talks with the European Union

Baku, June 25, AZERTAC

Formal talks on Ukraine and Moldova’s accession to the European Union kick off on Tuesday, in a development hailed historic and set to bolster hopes both countries will one day become EU members despite the war raging in Ukraine, Euronews reported.

The opening of talks will take place in two consecutive Intergovernmental Conferences on Tuesday afternoon in Luxembourg, with the two hopeful countries, the European Commission and the rotating presidency of the Council, currently held by Belgium, all represented.

The Ukrainian delegation will be headed by the country’s deputy prime minister for European integration, Olga Stefanishyna, while Prime Minister Dorin Recean will lead the Moldovan delegation.

Speaking upon her arrival, Stefanishyna described the meeting as a "historic moment" for Ukraine and a decision behind which "all the nation stands as one."

"Ukraine, despite the war and the extremely difficult situation, has decided to continue with intensive reforms while they are underneath the bombs and their lives are at risk," the Belgian foreign minister Hadja Lahbib said.

Tuesday’s meeting is mostly symbolic, but it does mean that the European Commission can make headway in the process of screening both Kyiv and Chisinau’s national laws to determine alignment with the EU’s own in areas including energy, financial services and food safety.

The negotiating frameworks, designed to guide the accession talks and approved by EU member states last week, will also be presented to both countries.

An EU diplomat said that while the initial screening process can typically take one to two years, it could be quicker this time given that the 2014 free trade agreements with both Ukraine and Moldova mean both countries are already aligned with several EU standards and regulations.

The start of negotiations is one of many milestones in a typically years-long process, where countries are required to make judicial, economic and constitutional reforms before they can be considered ready to join the EU. It has taken around a decade on average for previous candidates to join the bloc.

Seven more countries are currently waiting in the wings to become EU members, five of which - the Western Balkan states of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia - are already in formal negotiations.

“We stand at the threshold of a significant and transformative moment for these two countries (Ukraine and Moldova), and for our Union,” the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a video message on Tuesday. She added that Ukraine and Moldova's journeys to EU membership will be “rigorous and demanding,”

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, said: “Our shared future starts now.”

Charles Michel, who presides the European Council, described Tuesday's talks as "a proud moment for both nations and a strategic step for the EU.

"Ukraine’s efforts are even more admirable considering Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has brought about unprecedented hardship and adversity," Michel added. "The people of Ukraine have shown extraordinary courage and solidarity in defending their sovereignty and their European future."

Michel has previously called for the EU itself to speed up its preparations for enlargement, suggesting the bloc should be ready to accept new members by 2030.

Ukraine's deputy prime minister Stefanishyna claimed on Tuesday Kyiv will be able to "complete everything by 2030."

"Rest assured that Ukraine is very capable to deliver in a fast way, so if the European Commission is ready we can do it even faster," she added.

But speaking to Euronews on Tuesday, John O'Brennan, Professor of European Integration at Maynooth University warned the accession process will likely be long and complex.

"If you look at the recent history of the enlargement process, it's very difficult to be enthusiastic. Why? Because for most of the last 15 years, the entire process has been flatlining and simply hasn't been delivering," O'Brennan said. "The simple truth is that there hasn't been the political will in the EU to really get behind enlargement and to ensure that it becomes a much more serious item on the agenda of the European Council."

He pointed to the recent friction between Poland and Ukraine over tariff-free Ukrainian agricultural imports as a sign that even the most pro-Ukrainian of the bloc's member states will object to Kyiv's integration if it comes at a cost.

Ukraine's GDP per capita is three times smaller than that of Bulgaria, the EU's smallest economy, meaning its entry could destabilise the bloc's budgetary structure and mean many EU countries would switch from being net beneficiaries to net contributors.

"Potentially it (Ukraine's accession) means the complete transformation of the EU budget. We are not going to be able to keep the EU budget at 1% of GDP. It's going to have to be doubled or tripled, potentially. And many of the more recent member states that have benefited from EU structural funds (...) are going to see their share of the pie reduced significantly," he added.

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

42 Olympic champions lead Chinese delegation to Paris Olympics

Turkish President Erdogan condemns assassination attempt on Trump

Nearly 40% of fugitives of terror group behind failed 2016 coup bid now in US, Germany: Top Turkish official

Uruguay beat Canada on penalties to finish third at Copa America 2024

Trump says bullet hit his right ear in shooting at Pennsylvania rally

President Ilham Aliyev: We strongly condemn the act of political violence against Trump

Turkish side Besiktas sign Italian forward Ciro Immobile

Ancient city Gordion, Aslanhane Mosque in Türkiye receive UNESCO World Heritage certificates

European Universities Games: Azerbaijani chess players claim silver medal in blitz competitions

Khankendi hosts meeting of working group of Interdepartmental Center on economic issues

Pakistani court acquits ex-Premier Imran Khan, his wife in marriage law violation case

World population is projected to grow from 8.2 billion to a peak of 10.3 billion in 2080s, UN says

The Agreement between the Government of Azerbaijan and the Secretariat of the United Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement was approved - DECREE

Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission releases "Handbook for Expert group members"

The global significance of hosting COP29 in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, OSCE discuss prospects for bilateral cooperation

Seven Azerbaijani gymnasts advance to final of international tournament in Portugal

At least 9 killed due to landslide in Vietnam's mountainous north

Azerbaijani servicemen demonstrate professionalism at “Birlestik-2024” exercise VIDEO

Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament attends CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly’s Council meeting in Russia

President Ilham Aliyev received OSCE Secretary General VIDEO

Azerbaijan’s President visit to Pakistan: A New Strategic Road Map

Azerbaijani U16 men`s and women`s basketball teams advance to semifinal of Group Phase at EuroBasket 2024

Azerbaijani chess players shine at European Universities Chess Championship 2024

IOC announces first Olympic Esports Games to be hosted in Saudi Arabia

The collapse of a school in northern Nigeria leaves 22 students dead, officials say

NASA drops bizarre ‘Penguin And Egg’ image to celebrate Webb telescope

The incredible figure raised by Real Madrid through first day of Kylian Mbappé shirt sales

COP29 Chief negotiator Yalchin Rafiyev: We are committed to accelerating the transition to clean energy and securing additional sources of financing

President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan and Montenegro enjoy good traditions of friendship and cooperation

To His Excellency Mr. Jakov Milatović, President of Montenegro

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket suffers failure during Starlink satellite launch

Azerbaijani oil price exceeds $90

Oil prices down in world markets

Civilian plane crashes in Russia killing all 3 on board

First fossil chromosomes discovered in freeze-dried mammoth skin

Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission registers 519 authorized representatives from 20 political parties

Azerbaijani gymnasts reach final of international tournament in Portugal

Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission registers authorized representatives of five more political parties

A new era of brotherhood: strengthening Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations

® Kapital Bank announces financial results for second quarter 2024

Azerbaijani gymnasts win bronzes in Scalabis Cup 2024 Azerbaijan boosts natural gas exports to Europe

Mazahir Panahov: 150 parliamentary candidates have been approved so far

Baku Higher Oil School hosts Siblings Day

Speaker of Azerbaijan's Milli Majlis meets with Belarussian and Ethiopian parliament speakers

® Win 150 000 AZN in the Birbank Installment Card Lottery

Azerbaijani table tennis players aim for 'medal rush' in European University Games 2024

Genome evidence points to plague in Stone Age European population crash

Participants of 25th Term War Journalism Training informed about terrorism

Azerbaijan`s Central Election Commission hosts seminar dedicated to Parliament candidates registration process

New Zealand’s sea temperatures hit record highs, outstripping global averages

Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s personnel visited Second Alley of Martyrs

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev completed his state visit to Pakistan VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev viewed military exhibition in the "National Aerospace Science and Technology Park" located at the Pakistan Air Force Base Nur Khan VIDEO

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held expanded meeting with President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad VIDEO

Azerbaijani athlete books Paralympic spot in shot put

Putin says BRICS may establish its own parliament in future

Kazakhstan hosts opening ceremony of “Birlestik-2024” exercise VIDEO

In just another 200 years, world population grew sevenfold, reaching 1 billion, says UN chief

State reception on behalf of President of Pakistan was hosted in honor of President of Azerbaijan VIDEO

Azerbaijan to compete for FIBA U20 EuroBasket 2024, Division B glory

Western Azerbaijan Community calls on Armenian government not to allow destructive activities of people like Oskanian who oppose the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan

‘Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission invited electoral bodies of 26 countries to monitor parliamentary elections’

Oil prices rise in global markets

Cadets of Baku Military College accomplish practical shooting exercises

A blood donation campaign was held in military unit, Defense Ministry

12 killed, 65 missing in Nepal's landslides

Azerbaijani oil price down in global markets

BP Energy Outlook: both main scenarios see 2025 oil peak, rapid renewables growth

Pakistani Prime Minister: Azerbaijan's victory is an example that how justice and fair play come out in a resounding fashion

President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan and Pakistan support each other on every international case

Together as brothers, now and forever: strengthening Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations

President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif made press statements VIDEO

3500-year-old ritual table found in Azerbaijan’s Tava-tepe

2 miners are missing and 17 were injured after a coal mine accident in Poland

Official dinner was hosted on behalf of Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif in honor of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev VIDEO

Azerbaijan prevailed over Malta to advance to semifinal of FIBA U16 EuroBasket, Division C

Speaker Sahiba Gafarova: France strives to turn the South Caucasus into a zone of confrontation and neo-colonial practices

Ceremony to exchange documents signed between Azerbaijan and Pakistan was held in Islamabad VIDEO

Azerbaijan, ICESCO explore enhancing further cooperation

® "Women Helpline Service” received 412 enquires in first half of year

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held expanded meeting with Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad VIDEO

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held meeting with Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif in limited format in Islamabad VIDEO

Elusive mid-sized black hole spotted at centre of swallowed galaxy

François Letexier to referee UEFA EURO 2024 final

Romania: bear attacks force politicians back to work

Official welcome ceremony was held for President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Islamabad VIDEO

® Moody’s and S&P affirmed Kapital Bank’s Ratings and positive outlook

Young Azerbaijani table tennis players ready for action in 2024 European Championships

Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission releases "Candidates handbook"

President Ilham Aliyev visited Pakistan Monument in Islamabad VIDEO

China is building two-thirds of new wind and solar globally, report says

Copa America final set: Argentina to face Colombia after win over Uruguay

England beat Netherlands 2-1 to face Spain in EURO 2024 final

National Museum of Azerbaijan History, Embassy of Poland ink Memorandum of Cooperation

President of Azerbaijan arrived on state visit to Pakistan VIDEO

Turkish media outlets: Meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan - historic step towards peace

Preparatory stage of “Birlestik-2024” exercise fulfills forthcoming tasks

To His Excellency Mr. Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, President of Mongolia