Talks on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union haven’t started, but the bloc’s position on the issue isn’t unanimous. Some EU members want Ukraine, while others don’t. This division—though with a slight opposition—makes the whole process of accession hang in the balance. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen reaffirmed that the European Commission suggested last Wednesday that Georgia be designated as a candidate for membership in the union and that accession negotiations be opened for Ukraine and Moldova.
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, expressed approval for the Commission’s decision, characterizing it as commendable. In a video disseminated via Telegram, he stated, “Ukraine should be a member of the European Union, as it is a deserving aspiration for the Ukrainian people.” Prime Minister Denis Shmygal committed to ensuring Ukraine’s status as a robust and equitable member of the EU. Notably, several months following the onset of the Russian invasion, the European Union conferred candidate status upon Ukraine in June 2022. A similar approach was taken in relation to Moldova.
However, not all the European Union member states are welcoming Ukraine. To some of them, Ukraine is an unwelcome guest, according to experts. There’s a nay coming from Hungary.
In yet another sign that his nation would obstruct Kiev’s aspirations to join the EU, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated last Friday that he opposes initiating talks on Ukraine’s future participation in the organization. With Hungary viewed as a possible roadblock, EU leaders must decide by mid-December whether to formally invite Ukraine to start accession negotiations to the twenty-seven-member union.
A new member of the EU must get unanimous consent before they can be admitted, giving Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, strong veto power. The European Union’s executive branch, the European Commission, suggested on Wednesday that Ukraine be permitted to start membership negotiations after certain issues were resolved. However, Orban stated that the troubled nation was not near joining the greatest trading bloc in the world in an interview with Hungarian state radio on Friday.
Orban clarified, saying, “Hungary’s clear position is that negotiations should not start.” Ukraine is by no means ready to negotiate its desires to join the European Union.
It appears that Hungary’s leaning towards Russia is affecting its decision on Ukraine. In its conflict with Russia, Orban’s administration had threatened to veto financial aid packages that Kiev had received from the European Union and had declined to arm Ukraine.
Ironically, the Ukrainian dreams to join the European Union—in order to primarily protect itself from Russia– could be pulverized by a state who’s a member of the European Union and somewhat close to Russia than Ukraine.
Not only is Hungary sensing some danger posed by the Ukrainian plan to join the European Union. France, through to a lesser degree, harbor the same fear. The leader of France’s biggest farmers’ organization issued a dire warning on Wednesday, stating that Ukraine’s entry into the EU would be “disastrous” for the continent’s agriculture industry.
According to some experts, not only the French unionists are wary of the Ukrainian bid to join the European Union, which they see as being prompted by the Russian threat rather than a genuine desire on the part of Ukraine to make substantial contributions to the strength of the EU.
Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, stated in May 2022 that it will take decades for Ukraine to be admitted into the European Union. Instead, he proposed that Ukraine join a “parallel European community” while it awaited a decision in a speech to the EU parliament in Strasbourg. According to President Macron, this would enable non-EU nations to participate in Europe’s security framework in different ways.
To conclude, the Ukrainian dream to join the European Union in pursuit of a bigger protection from the Russian military power inflicting huge damage on the country. Hungary opposes for political reasons, while France has rather economic motives. All in all, the Ukrainian bid is beset by obstacles, with an uphill mission laying ahead.