EU Council President: Efforts of Ukraine and Moldova towards EU membership are admirable

President of the European Council, Charles Michel

© APA | President of the European Council, Charles Michel

# 25 June 2024 19:22 (UTC +04:00)

"We are witnessing an historic moment today. Following the decision of the European Council of December 2023 to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, the two countries are embarking on a true transformation into full EU membership — a proud moment for both nations and a strategic step for the EU," President of the European Council Charles Michel said in a statement ahead of opening accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, APA reports.

President Michel stated that this is the result of Ukraine and Moldova’s enormous efforts to reform: "When the will of the people is followed, visionary leadership delivers and democracy is put into practice, we see the fruit of real progress. The EU continues to deliver in the partnerships with Ukraine and Moldova, all the more as Ukraine defends itself against Russia’s illegal war of aggression, and Moldova faces the war’s fallout."

"Opening accession negotiations via the first Intergovernmental Conferences is a key milestone. It is also proof of the immense progress both nations have made on their journey towards European integration, despite the immense challenges they have faced and are still facing," he noted.

"Ukraine’s efforts are even more admirable considering Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has brought about unprecedented hardship and adversity. The people of Ukraine have shown extraordinary courage and solidarity in defending their sovereignty and their European future.

Moldova, too, has faced significant challenges, including economic pressures and political intimidation, yet has remained steadfast in its pursuit of ever closer ties with the EU.

Both countries have demonstrated impressive commitment to reform and alignment with European values. The transformative steps taken in areas such as rule of law, governance, and judicial systems offer hope and give a clear indication of their unwavering aspiration to join the European family. The support of their societies has also been crucial along the way.

This is the beginning of a long process. While today we celebrate a significant step forward, we must also recognize that the road ahead will require sustained effort, dedication, and further substantial reforms. Ukraine and Moldova will need to continue their work to strengthen institutions, continue combatting corruption, and enhance economic stability to meet the rigorous standards of full EU membership.

The European Union, through its institutions and Member States, stands ready to support Ukraine and Moldova at each step of this journey. We will provide the necessary resources, expertise, and political support.

Together, we can build a stronger, more united Europe, where every nation has the opportunity to thrive in peace and prosperity," European Council President Charles Michel said in his statement.

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