Ukraine can become a member of the EU no earlier than 2029. Until then, a number of conditions must be met — government
24 June, 2022

Ukraine must follow a series of bureaucratic procedures before becoming a member of the European Union. This process can take at least seven years, said Natalie Forsyuk, Director General of the Governmental Office on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.

On June 23, European Union leaders supported granting Ukraine EU candidate status. According to Forsyuk, this decision is not just a promise, but a set of bureaucratic procedures, the implementation of which will lead to full membership.

The most important thing, according to Forsyuk, is that the candidate status gives Ukraine a stronger position in future peace talks. In addition, such a decision opens access to financial instruments for Ukraine.

"This gives us access to the EU structural funds, which is very important now, because these are financial instruments that are available only to candidates, provided not only on credit terms, but on more favorable terms, in fact, almost free," said the official.

Forsyuk says she sees no obstacles to Ukraine's accession to the EU, but stresses that the process is long and involves a number of stages. First of all, the recommendations of the European Commission must be implemented: completion of anti-corruption reform, implementation of anti-oligarchic law, appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court, strengthening the link between investigations and verdicts in anti-corruption cases, independence of media regulator and national minorities.

"There aren't too many of these conditions. We all have progress behind them, they need to be completed, not started from scratch. Upon completion, a decision will be made to open negotiation procedures. This will not be until next year, because the evaluation of implementation will be done in December. And negotiation procedures usually last several years," Forsyuk explains.

In parallel with the negotiations, Ukraine must fully implement EU legislation, because at the time of membership it must become an integral part of Ukrainian legislation.

Ukraine will not be able to become a member of the EU next year, as it is impossible to complete all procedures so quickly. Forsyuk says Ukraine will be able to join the EU in the best case scenario in seven years.

"If we get the EU member status in seven years, that would be very good. Previously, it was highly unlikely, due to the large amount of legislation that we needed to adopt and implement. We must fully live by the laws of Europe," Forsyuk said.