The Transatlantic Task Force for Ukraine (TTFU) resolutely welcomes decision of the European Commission and President von der Leyen to recommend EU candidate status for Ukraine. This is a historic step forward for Ukrainians who amid Russia’s unprovoked war continue to demonstrate bravery and unequivocal commitment to Ukraine’s European future and support its EU integration and full membership.
We call on all EU member states to accept and support the Commission’s recommendation at the EU Summit of June 23-24 and grant candidate status to Ukraine.
As President von der Leyen highlighted, Ukraine has made significant progress on its path toward full EU integration and Ukrainians truly embody European values and standards.
TTFU stands ready to work closely with the European Union, Ukraine, the United States, and other key partners, including Ukrainian civil society, to support the hard work that has to be done in order for Ukraine to fully meet the EU criteria and implement key democratic and market-oriented reforms.
We strongly support Ukraine’s candidate status in the European Union and call on EU leadership and its Member States to grant this status to Ukraine in June 2022, opening the door to Ukraine’s membership and fulfilling the aspirations of the Ukrainian people.
The EU has a historic opportunity to advance Ukraine’s European integration and take meaningful steps that will have a direct positive impact on Ukraine and Europe’s security, prosperity and future. Ukraine’s frontline efforts to defend its democracy and that of Europe and the transatlantic community against Russia and authoritarianism highlight the bravery, ingenuity and strength that the Ukrainian people would bring to the EU. We applaud the European Parliament’s strong endorsement of Ukraine’s EU candidacy when it voted overwhelmingly to grant candidate status in March 2022.
Ukraine’s heroic determination to win the war against Russia is at the heart of the EU’s and the larger democratic world’s fight to ensure that democracy, human rights, and rule of law prevail. Every day we see Ukrainians demonstrate their commitment to core European values of democracy, freedom, and dignity—resolutely defending them on the frontlines. Their overwhelming choice of a European future should be embraced and advanced by the EU and its Member States so that Europe and Ukraine emerge stronger from this disastrous war.
Ukraine has made significant democratic progress as an Eastern Partnership member and since 2014 when it signed an Association Agreement with the EU and began implementing a number of systemic state-building and economic reforms. It is time to move into the next phase of the Ukraine-EU partnership. EU candidacy status and the accession process will serve as a strong catalyst and will provide the framework and technical assistance necessary to meet the EU’s Copenhagen criteria and to realize Ukraine’s full political association and economic integration into the EU. This status is also the central linchpin to a successful rebuilding and democratic strengthening of Ukraine. Ukrainians have proven that they are up to the challenge, ready to fulfill new commitments, and are well aware of the hard work and reform conditionalities, including combating corruption and advancing rule of law, that will be required by Brussels and EU Member States.
The EU should embrace and speak to the potential, talents, and positive impact Ukrainians and Ukraine would bring to the table as a candidate country and eventual EU member. Ukraine has a highly educated population, flourishing world-class IT sector, abundant agricultural resources and production, dynamic entrepreneurial spirit, deep social consciousness, steadfast respect for human rights, competitive democracy, and an immense cultural heritage—all of which will enrich the European Union. Candidate status will accelerate the process of bringing Ukraine closer to European standards and help motivate, mobilize, and empower Ukrainian reformers in the government and civil society.
Ukraine in the EU would significantly strengthen Brussels’ role as a global actor, limit Russia’s influence in the region, provide a new competitive boost for EU goods and labor markets, substantially improve European security and defense, and reinforce the rules-based democratic world order.
Over the last eight years, the Ukrainian people have courageously fought for a European future: first in the Revolution of Dignity and defending Donbas and now in every corner of their nation—withstanding the full-scale Russian offensive. This fight for a European future has included democratic, economic, and political transformation in Ukraine broadly supported by Ukrainian society and EU partners. The confidence and perseverance with which Ukrainian citizens protect their land and the choice of a future among democratic nations should send an unambiguous signal to international partners that Ukraine belongs with the European community.
What is needed now is not just a glimmer of hope for Ukrainians but confidence and a guarantee in Brussels and across Europe that the path of integration chosen in 2014 and the sacrifices made on the battlefield have not been in vain. The European Union can provide such guarantees by granting the EU candidate status to Ukraine in June 2022 and developing a roadmap with the Ukrainian government to achieve EU membership.
We applaud the overwhelming support for Ukraine provided by the European Union, its Member States and citizens . Now is the time to make a decisive and courageous decision for the future of the European Union and the democratic world to bolster the forces of democracy against rising authoritarianism. We urge the EU and Member States to be bold and tear down the remaining walls that separate Ukraine from EU candidacy and to fully embrace Ukraine’s fight for its own and European security, dignity, and freedom.
Please join us in urging the European Union and its member states to grant candidate status to Ukraine in June 2022. Here is a link to add your name and voice in support of Ukraine’s EU candidacy.