The European Parliament has adopted a resolution by 529 votes to 45 calling on European Union leaders to approve Ukraine’s status as an EU candidate country “without delay.”
The vote -- held at a European Council meeting taking place in Brussels on Thursday and Friday -- also called on leaders to grant candidate status to Moldova and the same to Georgia “once its government has delivered” on a set of political and social reforms established by the European Commission.
The non-binding resolution says that granting Ukraine candidate status would “send a clear political message, affirming that the countries concerned have made the irrevocable choice of a European path.”
In the resolution, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said granting candidate status would also allow the EU to remain a “reliable partner and a credible geopolitical player, which lives up to its principles and values,” and would show “solidarity with those who defend the same ideals.”
MEPs said there was “no ‘fast-track’ for EU membership” and accession to becoming a full EU country “remains a merit-based and structured process which requires the fulfilment of the EU membership criteria and is dependent on the effective implementation of reforms” as well as transposing all EU law -- the acquis -- into domestic law.
Lawmakers also called on the Ukrainian and Moldovan governments to “unambiguously demonstrate their political determination to implement the European ambitions of their people,” and to “significantly enhancing progress with substantial reforms in order to effectively fulfil the criteria for EU membership as soon as possible.”