European Union ambassadors agreed on Monday to examine bids by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to join the EU, starting the lengthy process towards accession.
In a tweet Monday, the French Presidency of the EU said that the 27 Permanent Representatives of European Countries had, "agreed to invite the European Commission to present an opinion on each of the applications for EU membership submitted by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.”
About the process: This starts a process that could takes years to complete before the three former Soviet countries are considered candidate countries to join the EU.
Countries wishing to become part of the European Union must meet strict “accession criteria,” which involves complex social, legal and political reforms and are “essential conditions all candidate countries must satisfy to become a member state,” according to EU rules.
The EU’s “capacity to absorb new members,” is also part of the consideration for allowing new countries to join the bloc.
Meanwhile, European Council President Charles Michel said in a tweet earlier Monday that Ukraine's membership bid will be discussed in the “coming days."