Ukraine is making diplomatic efforts to persuade those skeptical to join the EU. And is surprised by Portugal’s opposition – the Observer

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The first step should have a positive effect – but the path leading to Ukraine’s membership in the EU is not straightforward. Aware of the difficulties, Volodymyr Zhelensky’s country bet on the most suspicious European leaders in a “glamorous move” to give the green light to his candidacy – and surprises Portugal. .

The European Commission’s first comment, at a time when it’s still preliminary – it will be released on June 17 – and on June 23 and 24, ahead of a summit where European leaders will comment on the issue, focuses on seducing Ukraine’s still unreliable state and government leaders.

How does European portal EuroactivThis first step should bring good news to Ukraine: According to many European sources with knowledge of the matter, the European Commission document should contain “careful” but positive words.

Says a positive recommendation for Ukraine A BloombergHowever the rule of law in Ukraine and the strengthening of anti-corruption law should include certain conditions.

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The problem is that even though the European Commission has spoken out in favor, this is just the beginning of the process. Soon, Ukraine will have to face the suspicion of some member states for a number of reasons: on the one hand, the country is still at war; There are other countries that submitted applications many years ago – the process can take years and up to a decade – still waiting for a response; Moreover, apart from the current war situation, there may be fundamental doubts about the compliance of the law in Ukraine and the respect for the rule of law, which many countries consider irrelevant in order to expedite entry into the country.

Portugal is precisely one of the countries reluctant to create anxiety at the highest level in Ukraine. Last month, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stepanishina, in charge of the European Integration Ministry, concluded that the mathematics would be done. Suspicion “Six to Seven Countries” About a quick entry into Ukraine – naming examples Germany, Portugal, Spain, Austria and Sweden.

But, in the meantime, that is what Ukraine hopes for Many of these doubts have been addressed – Stepanishina talks to Euroactive about the “positive results” in Austria, Germany has taken a very flexible position and other countries such as Finland and Denmark are waiting to see the position of the European Commission – Portugal’s opposition was surprising: “We have a country that is even more skeptical, Portugal, which has the largest Ukrainian community, and its opposition is surprising. “

In April, Antonio Costa said In an interview organized by the Journalist ClubAfter Zelensky said that Portugal had “almost” secured Ukraine’s access to the EU, the urgency of the war situation could not be “always resolved without exaggeration, only with urgent solutions”. According to Costa, “deepening the collective agreement with the EU” would be the “best place”.

Two guarantees, one promise and a break on Zelensky. Interview with Antonio Costa

And he explained why: “I think it’s too big to put all the chips into one process, which is uncertain, not necessarily long, and subject to many variations. There is another dimension, namely whether the EU itself is ready for expansionary measures. The EU has so far not been able to welcome countries like Albania and Montenegro, which have a different dimension from Ukraine. ” But he assured that Portugal would not say “no”.

Then, in May, the Portuguese prime minister reiterated his satisfaction with Ukraine’s clear European desire to be recognized as “part of the European family”, but he recalled the “complexity” of the process: “We all know the rules of the EU well. , Undoubted Commitment to the Massive Efforts for Economic, Humanitarian Support and Reconstruction: We must find a solution that is currently a priority for Ukraine.

During his visit to Kiev, he promised to receive Ukraine’s option “with open arms”, as well as “technical support” and “exchange of experiences” in the process of joining the Portuguese. Zhelensky said: “I understand that there are countries that have been waiting for many years, but I do not think it is right to compare Ukraine with countries that have been on a peaceful approach. We are at war and fighting for freedom and European values.

To counter opposition or reluctance, senior Ukrainian delegates have been visiting European capitals in recent weeks to make one last major diplomatic effort at this crucial time to gain members, after the nominations were filed in March.

“It is important that the EU does not play the game of promises,” Ruslan Stephensk, a representative of the Ukrainian parliament, told reporters in Brussels this week. As Antonio Costa has already done – this is the time when many European leaders are talking about alternative solutions for clean, simple and quick access to Ukraine.

“At least there is no consensus on saying ‘no’ to Ukraine because no leader can say it publicly. On the contrary, the debate is about procedures,” Olha Stepanishina was quoted as saying by Euroactive this week, recalling strong supporters such as Italy, Ireland or Greece. According to him, most countries are in favor of the merger.

At this point, the other obstacle for Ukraine is that in the context of the war, it is involved in the same group of countries that are trying to initiate the same process: Moldova and Georgia. The Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister agreed in the same conversation that Ukraine would be “very concerned” to be considered part of this group of countries, “because they have very different realities”, especially out of respect for the rule of law and the rule of law, which is beyond Russia’s interest.

“Putting all three countries in the same bag increases uncertainty and helps skeptics say no because the outcome may be clear for Ukraine, but not for Georgia and not for Moldova,” he warned. On June 17, it will be possible to see whether the first step was taken successfully so that the candidate can formally obtain the status of the country of Ukraine, thereby initiating its formal candidacy.

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