The executive branch of the European Union has proposed that Ukraine be recognized as a candidate for EU membership, a first step on what was thought to be a lengthy path for Ukraine to join the 27-nation alliance.
Following a fast-tracked consideration of responses to a questionnaire, the European Commission proposed on Friday, to grant Ukraine candidate status.
“Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective,” commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “We want them to live with us, the European dream.”
The leaders of the bloc’s current members are expected to consider the recommendation at a conference next week in Brussels.
While the European Commission’s support is a major show of solidarity with Ukraine, it is probable that EU membership will take years, if not decades, to materialize.
The European Commission also suggested that Moldova be granted EU candidate status. Georgia’s application was also evaluated by the panel, but the Caucasus country must first meet a number of requirements, according to the commission.