Panel 2: Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia — the next steps on the road to EU accession
The second panel was made up of four members of the Bundestag, Thomas Hacker, Anton Hofreiter, Tilmann Kuban, and Christian Petry, and the Ukrainian Ambassador Oleksii Makeiev. They discussed the EU accession of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. In December 2023, the EU Member States will decide what steps these three countries must take in order to join the EU.
“Ukraine has made significant progress in implementing EU reforms despite the war” (Oleksii Makeiev)
Despite the war, Ukraine has made significant progress in implementing EU reforms noted Ambassador Makeiev. There is a great expectation among the population that the EU accession negotiations will take place this year. This would fulfil the European dream of the Ukrainian people.
The Chair of the EU committee of the Bundestag, Anton Hofreiter (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) said that the democratic centre of the German parliament was united with regard to EU enlargement. By admitting the Western Balkan countries, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, the European single market would become larger. In view of the growing number of dictatorships, we have an intrinsic interest in Europe becoming bigger and stronger.
“Reform and enlargement of the EU should take place in parallel” (Tilmann Kuban)
The EU itself should do its homework just as much as the accession countries, stressed CDU politician Tilmann Kuban. Reform and enlargement should take place in parallel. Thomas Hacker, spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, expressed confidence in the speedy opening of accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, but was less optimistic about Georgia.
Christian Petry, European policy spokesperson of the SPD parliamentary group, stressed that the EU enlargement strategy should be less reserved than it had been in the past. The EU had produced too much disappointment in these countries; there had to be tangible perspectives. An EU of different speeds was feasible, Petry said. .
Finally, Hofreiter stressed the necessity of military support for Ukraine, because full EU membership also depended on the end of the war, he said, and Ukraine had to win.
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