Ukraine looks set to become an official candidate for European Union (EU) membership, the first step to joining the 27-country bloc. This week, EU leaders are expected to back the move at a summit being held on 23 and 24 June. Ukraine’s president Zelensky has warned Russia may increase its military attacks in retaliation to the decision.
Why Join the EU?
Goods, services and money move freely between member states. EU citizens can live and work anywhere within the bloc. It operates a single European currency, the euro, which is used by more than 340 million people in 19 of the EU’s 27 countries. Common standards apply across member states in a number of areas including food safety, farming and employment rights. And the EU gives grants to poorer regions, to help strengthen their economies.
In addition to the above, Dr Zach Paikin, from the Centre of European Policy Studies think tank in Brussels argues. “EU membership would establish Ukraine firmly as an independent, sovereign European state,” he says. “Not merely part of the Russian world.” Should Ukraine be granted candidate status, the process of joining may take several years, as it would need to adopt all the EU’s laws and regulations. Link to BBC article on this.