Ukraine Is Not Ready to Join EU Because It Is Corrupt – Former President of European Commission

Thursday, 5 October 2023

Jean-Claude Juncker, Former President of the European Commission, believes that Ukraine does not yet meet the criteria for membership in the European Union because of heavy corruption. However, the prospect of accession should be preserved for Ukraine.

"We should not make false promises to people in Ukraine who are suffering all by themselves. I am outraged with some voices in Europe trying to convince Ukrainians that they can become members of the EU immediately. This would not be good for the EU or Ukraine," he said in an interview with Augsburger Allgemeine.

Juncker stated that anyone who had any relationship with Ukraine knows that "this is a country that is corrupt at all levels of society."

Ukraine is not ready to join the European Union, Juncker says.

"Despite efforts, it is not ready to join, it needs major internal reforms. We have had bad experiences with some so-called new members, such as the rule of law. This must not happen again," he added.

At the same time, Juncker believes that the European perspective for Moldova and Ukraine should be preserved, but "should not be associated with the hope that it can be achieved overnight, just by pressing a button."

"If progress is made in these countries, whether in Ukraine or the Western Balkans, they should certainly be able to participate in certain stages of European integration. We should work to make something like partial accession possible, a reasonable form of almost an expansion," the former President of the European Commission said.

There is no question of immediate accession of Ukraine to the EU.

Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, said at the end of August that he wants the EU to be ready for enlargement by 2030.

However, there are supporters of not being bound by any deadlines for the accession of new members in the EU, such as Portugal.

The Ukrainian authorities say they are ready to complete their part of the accession work as soon as possible.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Kyiv wants to put "on the table a report that we are ready" in two years. At the same time, he emphasised that the decision on Ukraine's accession will take time after this approval.

Read also: Lack of EU Courage. Ukraine's Ways and Means of Joining the Union

If you notice an error, select the required text and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editors.