Belgium supports Ukraine to become EU candidate (as a symbolic measure)

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo made a phone call this afternoon with Ukrainian president Zelensky. He assured him that our country supports Ukraine to become a candidate member of the European Union. That candidacy will be discussed tomorrow at a European summit of heads of state and government. But De Croo has made it clear to Zelenski that real membership, as far as Belgium is concerned, is not yet in sight.

The European Commission last Friday made the formal recommendation to offer Ukraine a European perspective and grant the country candidate membership, provided that Ukraine implements a number of reforms. The formal decision on the statute granted to Kiev will fall tomorrow at the European summit.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) called Ukrainian president Volodimir Zelensky today and informed him that our country will support Ukraine’s candidate membership tomorrow.

“That is symbolically particularly important for the Ukrainians who are fighting a very hard battle,” says De Croo. “Of course, I have also been clear: that does not mean that Ukraine could very quickly become a member of the European Union. We still need to make a particularly strong effort to ensure that minorities are protected, that there is a rule of law and that corruption is prevented. That will be a very long process.”

According to the Croo, Zelensky is satisfied that the candidate membership will probably be supported at the European summit tomorrow and he realizes “that Ukraine still has a very long way to go”.

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