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EU Council grants Moldova, Ukraine EU candidate status

EU Council grants Moldova, Ukraine EU candidate status Source: European Parliament Multimedia Platform

BUCHAREST (Romania), June 24 (SeeNews) - The European Council said on Thursday evening it decided to grant EU candidate status to Moldova and Ukraine.

The Council invited the European Commission (EC) to report on the fulfillment of the conditions specified in the EC opinions on the respective membership applications, it said in a press release.

The Council will decide on further steps once all of these conditions are fully met.

The European Council is ready to grant candidate status to Georgia once the priorities specified in the EC opinion on Georgia’s membership application have been addressed, it also said.

"Let me stress that I am deeply convinced that the decision that we have taken today strengthens us all. It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, in the face of Russian aggression," EC president Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement posted on the Commission's website.

According to the Council, each country’s progress will depend on its own merits in meeting the Copenhagen criteria, and also on the EU’s capacity to accept new members.

The political criteria for membership cover stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities. The economic criteria include the existence of a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces, while the third condition is related to administrative and institutional capacity to effectively implement the EU acquis and ability to take on the obligations of EU membership.

Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia applied for EU membership in the wake of the Russian attack against Ukraine.

The last country to join the EU was Croatia in 2013.

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