The European Council meeting of December must be about enlargement, the European Parliament President, Roberta Metsola, said, emphasising that the European Union must open accession negotiations with Ukraine in the same month.
Metsola said that regarding the date, the EU must be prepared because this system for 27 countries, which is working, must also work for 32,33 or 35 countries.
Adding that the pre-accession phase should not be underestimated, she said that open negotiations for Ukraine with the EU should start by the end of this year.
“No one in this European Parliament is going to tell a country like Ukraine that is suffering from bombing that it must wait and now is not the time,” Metsola stressed, according to a report from La Razon.
Metsola believes the European Union is safer if all countries that are taking steps receive an answer.
The European Parliament President has expressed her ongoing support for Ukraine several times.
In March this year, she made an unannounced trip to Lviv and talked about Kyiv’s bid to join the EU with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Metsola expressed her hopes that the accession negotiations can start this year.
In June this year, she said that she wants the EU to open serious negotiations on Ukraine’s EU membership bid to become part of the bloc by the end of this year.
“We must keep our promises on opening negotiations. Ukraine’s efforts on reforms have been extraordinary, even and especially in times of war. If the reform criteria have been sufficiently met, we need to respond,” Metsola said.
Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, leading its President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to request immediate admission to the EU under a new special procedure on February 28, 2022.
In June 2022, Ukraine gained its EU candidate status, together with Moldova. In January this year, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that he hopes his country will become a full member of the bloc in the next two years.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led a large number of Ukrainians to flee the war and seek international protection in other EU countries.
The figures from the European Office for Statistics showed that the EU countries granted temporary protection to about 4.07 million Ukrainians as of June 30, 2023, with Germany receiving the largest share of refugees granted temporary protection.