EU countries set to endorse Ukraine as candidate to join the bloc

EU countries set to endorse Ukraine as candidate to join the bloc

European Council President Charles Michel said said the body would recognise the “European perspective” of the Associated Trio countries of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

"This is a decisive moment for the European Union," Michel said on Thursday morning. "I’m confident that today we will grant the candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova." 

The European Council will make its decision on the three countries’ pending applications for European Union membership following the European Commission’s recommendations on the matter.

Josep Borrell, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said Georgia would be “automatically” granted the EU membership candidate status once the reform agenda criteria outlined by the European Commission are addressed.

Borrell stressed the Commission’s granting of “European perspective” to Georgia was a “step forward” and added citizens of the country should not look at the result “in a negative way” due to the body’s conditioning of the outright candidate status on reform criteria.

The following day, the European Commission published a positive opinion on Ukraine's application, while putting forward a series of reforms and measures the country needs to adopt by the end of this year, including in the fields of corruption, money laundering and media freedom.

The EU's accession process depends on the unanimity of all member states.