Ukraine should not lose momentum in fulfilling the seven requirements for a candidate for European Union membership.
In an interview with the DW channel about the outcomes of the Ukraine-EU Summit, Hanna Hopko, head of the National Interests Advocacy Network “ANTS”, stressed this.
“The most important thing is to maintain momentum and to comprehend the internal political climate of the European Union and the upcoming elections. These elections may also result in changes. It follows naturally that I would announce the beginning of the negotiation process, which is crucial to carry out this year. The interim report, which is due in the spring, is awaited”. Additionally, Hanna Hopko outlined the evaluation that will be made in particular on the questionnaire that Ukraine completed. – “We recently assigned Ukraine’s implementation of the European Commission’s proposals regarding its eligibility for EU membership a 5.8 point rating along with our coalition of analytical experts”.
She mentioned that the EU representatives had suggested that these seven goals be fulfilled not at 100% but rather at 120%.
“In order to ensure that there are no objections of any kind and that the negotiation process takes place this year, it is imperative that we work as a single national team and consider all of the recommendations. Why is this crucial? Another tale about membership exists. According to her, I believe that the negotiation process starts a new chapter for Ukraine. Considering that the elections for the United States and the Russian Federation appear to be in Moldova in 2024 and that it is still unclear how the situation in Ukraine will develop on the battlefield, our duty is to start the negotiation process right away. I sincerely hope that the administration and the parliament would take seriously the opinion expressed by the professional community that it is imperative to complete everything at a 120% level, which is already being discussed in the EU, and not just pretend to do so”.
Moreover, according to the head of “ANTS”, the EU anticipates Ukraine to act decisively in the fight against corruption:
“..We spoke with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other departments last week when we were in London. Then it was made very apparent that exposing corruption does not automatically result in irreparable punishment: “We will believe that you are genuinely combating corruption when we witness the inevitable punishment for those who abuse their official positions and who continue to plunder the state”.
Hanna Hopko emphasized the importance of bringing back electronic declarations.
“Over 25,000 signatures have already been collected on this topic. I believe Verkhovna Rada should demonstrate how we can remove mandates from the 5th column and return electronic declarations to societal reporting. I understand there is a security concern. I’m not saying that all of these electronic declarations should made instantly available, but they should be available to law enforcement and anti-corruption organizations. There is also no need for three million electronic declarations from representatives of local self-government. All representatives of the VRU, the Government, and all key officials should be present. The reappearance of electronic declarations will be a powerful warning that we are approaching the point where punishments will be irreversible. First and foremost, this will be a signal to those who are currently fighting in the trenches that, while they are battling the enemy, we here give all they need to return from the front to a country where corruption will have no place”.
Also, during the conversation, she also commented on the holding of this year’s Ukraine-EU Summit in Kyiv.
“The protocol called for it to take place in Brussels, but it ended up taking place in Kyiv. This is another evidence that the European Union aims to be a geopolitical player. This is important in light of the continued threat of another offensive and mobilization in the russian federation”.
The “ANTS” leader is confident that Ukraine will strengthen the EU in terms of security, defense capability, and resistance to authoritarianism.
“The main thing, it appears to me, that should happen now is a decision that has yet to be made in the West – to help Ukraine win and not be afraid of a russian federation military defeat. It is not enough to hand us guns and promise to stay with you for as long as we are needed. No, join us so that we can win this year,” – Hopko says.
At the end of the conversation, she strongly emphasized that authoritarianism must be stopped today.
“I am very sorry that in the ninth year of the war, when almost a year of real genocide has already been going on, we are not talking about the fact that Ukraine has everything necessary for a counteroffensive, for the reconquest of territories, but about the fact that Russia is preparing another offensive. Mobilization continues in Ukraine, and practically every household has a member who is either dead, injured, or has received a summons. We don’t need to assist at that level in order to stabilize the front lines and plan how to sit down for negotiations. We want to hear about Ukrainian win this year in all formats, including Rammstein and G-7. This is the key message for the rest of the world: Ukrainian victory benefits not just democracy, but also millions of people who will no longer face hunger, inflation, and other problems. Let us put an end to authoritarianism this year, because we lose the best every day!”