Published: Fri, 17 June 2022
Seán Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, has today welcomed the European Commission’s decision to endorse the granting of EU Candidate Status to Ukraine.
“Ukraine and its people have endured unimaginable suffering as a result of Russia’s brutal and unjustified invasion. At this terrible time for Ukraine, it is imperative that the EU and its member states show solidarity with the Ukrainian people in any way we can.”
“While the EU has been providing practical assistance to Ukraine and its people for several months now, including a number of significant sanction packages on Russia, it is crucial that steps are now taken to demonstrate that Ukraine’s future lies in Europe. The Ukrainian people have chosen democracy and we cannot stand by while a dictator tries to restore an oppressive empire of the past.” Kelly stated.
“It was heartening to see European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, travel to Kyiv this week and express their support for Ukraine’s wish to be granted candidate status. The EU is making huge strides in this area and it is positive to see such unison on the world stage. I will also note that Ireland is also certainly playing its part, both in terms of hospitality the general public have shown and at government level.” Kelly continued.
Ukraine, along with Moldova, is set to be officially granted the status once the proposal is approved by European leaders at a meeting of the European Council in Brussels next week.
“Of course, it is essential that Ukraine fulfils all the necessary criteria in terms of democracy and rule of law before it is granted full membership. Significant progress has been made in this regard in recent years, and I am sure that such progress will continue once this terrible war has ended,” Kelly added.
“That being said, it is clearer than ever that Ukraine shares our European values, and is committed to finding a way to join our European Union. This has been a consistent goal expressed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy since the outbreak of war in February, and it is only right that the European Union acknowledges this commitment.”
“Ukraine belongs in Europe, and I am hopeful that we will see progress made on Ukraine’s accession to the Union before long,” Kelly concluded.