France affirms support for Ukraine's EU journey

Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed France's backing for Ukraine's bid to join the European Union, though he emphasized that the process would not occur overnight, according to Le Figaro.

"We support Ukraine's candidacy for membership in the European Union," the French leader said.

France played a leading role in supporting Ukraine as a candidate for EU membership, said Macron.

"We will continue to do so," Macron added.

“This is an opportunity for Ukraine to carry out all the reforms necessary to join the European Union. But this will not happen overnight.”

Read also: EU aims for early start to Ukraine's membership talks in June

Ukraine's accession to the EU

Ukraine had implemented 65-70% of the Association Agreement with the EU, Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal said in a TV interview with Bloomberg in September 2022. At the same time, at a press conference in Brussels, he said: "We have an ambition in the near future, by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, to move into the negotiation procedures that precede the actual granting of EU membership."

Shmyhal said in May 2023 that Ukraine should be ready to join the EU in two years.

The European Commission recommended starting negotiations on Ukraine and Moldova's accession to the EU on Nov. 8, 2023. The European Council supported the start of negotiations on Ukraine's EU membership with 26 votes on Dec. 14.

Ukraine could join the European Union in 2030, European Council President Charles Michel said previously.

Shmyhal said on March 20, 2024, that negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union should begin by the end of June this year.

EU Ambassador to Ukraine Katarína Mathernová said on April 25 that the country is ready to start negotiations on EU accession and expects them to begin in late June.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on April 30 that Ukraine could start negotiations on joining the European Union as early as June.

Brussels officials are also pushing to start official talks on Ukraine's accession to the EU this month, Politico cited sources as saying on May 21.

Read also: Ukraine's EU accession talks to start in June — Roberta Metsola

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