Headline RoundupJune 17th, 2022

EU Supports Ukraine's Bid for Membership

AllSides Summary

Ukraine just took its biggest step yet toward joining the European Union.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said Friday that Ukraine should be granted candidate status for the EU. "Ukraine has clearly shown commitment to live up to European values and standards," said von der Leyen. "Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream." Ukraine applied to join the EU four days after Russia invaded in February. Moldova and Georgia also applied several days later. All three are ex-Soviet states dealing with separatist regions occupied by Russian troops.

If admitted, Ukraine would be the largest country in the EU by area and the fifth most populous. Von der Leyen also recommended Moldova for candidate status, but not Georgia. Joining the EU will still likely take years for both nations, and membership isn't guaranteed. Leaders of the 27 EU member states will meet for a summit next week to discuss the possible new members. Russia opposes Ukraine joining the EU, and tends to view any expansion by Ukraine on the global stage as a national security threat.

The news was covered prominently and similarly across the political spectrum. Many reports highlighted that even if Ukraine does become an EU member, it will be at least a few years before the process is finalized.

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