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The EU officially announced the date of the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession: what happens next

Kseniya KapustynskaNews
Negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU will start on June 25
Negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU will start on June 25. Source: ec.europa.eu

On June 25, the European Union (EU) decided to start negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the bloc. This means the actual start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU, during which all the technical details of the process will be worked out. Similar negotiations will officially begin with Moldova.

This was officially announced by the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council. "The EU Council has adopted common positions, in particular on the framework for negotiations on Ukraine's accession to Moldova. This paves the way for the start of negotiations on Tuesday, June 25, in Luxembourg," the statement said.

The decision to start negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU adopted

It refers to the "in-principle agreement of 27 countries" to negotiate. The decision was officially approved at a ministerial meeting on June 21. However, in the Netherlands, parliamentary approval will also be required.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal commented on the EU Council's decision at a government meeting on June 21. "On June 25, we will hold the EU-Ukraine Intergovernmental Conference, which will mark the formal start of negotiations on our accession. Then we will start detailed technical negotiations on dozens of different chapters of the future agreement," Shmyhal said.

He also added that Ukraine continues to integrate into the EU in all areas. In particular:

  • Ukraine and the EU have extended the "transport visa-free regime" – an agreement on the liberalization of freight transportation that eliminates the need to obtain permits for such transportation;
  • President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a law on a common roaming area with the EU, which is part of the "roaming visa-free regime" that will allow Ukrainians in the EU to use their mobile phone tariffs without additional charges.

"We will continue to work to ensure that both the 'transport visa-free regime' and the 'trade visa-free regime' work permanently. ... We are grateful to our European partners for their support, which strengthens our economy and our state," Shmyhal summarized.

The heads of state and government of the European Union prepared the ground for accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova in mid-December 2023. However, Hungary has so far slowed down the formal start of negotiations with Ukraine, believing that the conditions have not been met.

However, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has already officially stated that Ukraine has fulfilled all the recommendations of the European Commission. "Ukraine has fulfilled all the steps that we have prescribed, that we have formulated. That is why we believe that the European Union should start accession negotiations by the end of this month," she said.

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