European Council granted candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova
On 23 June, the European Council discussed the membership applications from Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and the support for Ukraine and held a strategic discussion on the EU’s relations with its partners in Europe and the Western Balkans.
The European Council decided to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. EU leaders expressed their strong support for Georgia’s membership perspective and are ready to grant candidate status to Georgia once the priorities specified by the Commission have been addressed. While expressing its strong support, the European Council reminded that the enlargement process is reversible and that it depends on the reforms each country carries out to advance their accession process.
The European Council condemns Russia’s indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. It urges Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. Work will continue on sanctions, including to strengthen implementation and prevent circumvention. The European Council calls on all countries to align with EU sanctions, in particular candidate countries.
The European Union is strongly committed to providing further military support to help Ukraine exercise its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression. To this end, the European Council calls on the Council of the European Union to swiftly work on a further increase of military support. It calls on the European Commission to swiftly present its proposals on EU support for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Russia alone is responsible for the global food security crisis, which it has provoked by weaponising food in its war against Ukraine. The European Council supports the efforts on the solidarity lanes to facilitate food exports from Ukraine via different land routes and EU ports.
The European Council held its first strategic discussion on the proposal to launch a European political community. The aim of the proposal is to offer a political framework for interested European countries. The framework would not replace existing EU policies and instruments. The European Council will revert to the issue, building on this first exchange of views.
Ahead of the European Council, the EU leaders met informally with Western Balkans leaders to discuss activating the EU enlargement process, consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in the Western Balkans and advancing cooperation between the EU and the region.
The European Union expresses its full and unequivocal commitment to the EU membership perspective of the Western Balkans. The European Council invites the Commission, the High Representative and the Council to further advance the gradual integration between the EU and the Western Balkans already during the enlargement process. The European Council recalls the importance of reforms, notably in the area of rule of law, and calls on the partners to guarantee the rights and equal treatment of persons belonging to minorities.
The EU leaders discussed the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia and the granting of candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Council calls for a swift resolution of the last remaining issues in the discussions with Bulgaria and North Macedonia so that accession negotiations can be opened without delay. The European Council is ready to grant the status of candidate country to Bosnia and Herzegovina once the conditions set by the Commission have been met. The European Council will return to the matter later.
The European Council meeting continued on Friday 24 June. On the second day, the EU leaders discussed the Euro Summit, economic issues and the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for European Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949, Tuulia Pitkänen, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (Political Affairs), tel. +358 41 501 3092 and Satu Keskinen, State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 302, Prime Minister’s Office.