Ukraine began forming its negotiating positions on joining the European Union as soon as it was designated as a candidate country in June.
This was emphasized on the air of the “Inter” TV channel by Maria Golub, an expert on European integration and bilateral relations with the EU and a member of the National Interests Advocacy Network “ANTS”.
“Both parties, Ukraine and the European Union, formed negotiating positions and immediately began preparations for negotiations and Ukraine’s future accession to the EU.” This is referred to as a dynamic process. Yes, I would rather talk about dynamics than difficulties, though they will be present as well. The first point is to strengthen our dialogue with the EU as much as possible, according to Maria Golub. – We must insist on this because, while Ukraine is not alone in the basket of expansion, our situation is entirely unique. And because we have our own track record of cooperation with the EU, we must insist that Ukraine is appropriately highlighted in our bilateral communications with the European side. The negotiating position is taking shape, and it is now critical to communicate specific time frames. Everyone in European capitals and Brussels agrees that this is a realistic time frame for us to begin accession negotiations next year. I hope it happens. However, increased advocacy, communication, and specific actions are required, primarily on the part of Ukraine”.
According to the expert, the Ukrainian side anticipates that the European Commission will quickly prepare and communicate the report that will precede the start of accession negotiations.
“And we will be able to take full advantage of Sweden’s next EU presidency in order to carry out preparatory work and begin negotiations as early as the second half of 2023,” she said.
Ukraine has proven that it is moving along a certain exclusive path.
“However, much work will be required to make good progress on all seven recommendations made by the European Commission to Ukraine as prerequisites for the membership dialogue.” We can now see some progress in terms of appointments and judicial reform. According to the ANTS member, this is he type of cautiously restrained optimism. – The Verkhovna Rada recently passed another draft law on combating money laundering in the FATF system. There are also certain European integration processes in the area of trade liberalization, such as approved food safety bills, which are critical for strengthening our trade relations with the EU. That is, there has been progress. It is necessary to fix it as much as possible and to do everything possible to ensure that the report prepared by the European Commission for consideration by the European Union is as positive as possible”.
Following that, according to Maria Golub, it will be necessary to intensify bilateral dialogues not only with Brussels, but also with key countries that influence EU decision-making.
“There is such an internal agreement among EU member states that they will maintain tight control over the issue of the rule of law. As a result, the European side will insist on opening the chapters of our agreement dealing with the rule of law. It will not be an easy road, but one must understand that all of these reforms are in Ukraine’s best interests. It’s not just about getting ready for membership. The first step is to create a favorable investment climate, which will be critical for both the country’s modernization and the reconstruction process. Because European integration affects all aspects of our lives, all of the reforms we will implement as a candidate country will help Ukraine become a stronger, more prosperous, full-fledged European country”.