European Parliament calls for granting EU candidate status to Ukraine, Moldova
BRUSSELS. June 23 (Interfax) - The European Parliament has voted for a resolution on the soonest granting of the EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova by a majority of votes, the European Parliament said in a statement published on its website on Thursday.
"With 529 votes to 45 and 14 abstentions, Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution calling on the Heads of State or Government -who hold their summit today and tomorrow - to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova 'without delay'," the statement said. The European Parliament noted that the same should be done for Georgia as soon as the Georgian authorities meet the EU criteria.
The Associated Press news agency said on Thursday with reference to a number of EU diplomats that the candidate status of Ukraine would receive unanimous approval.
The European Parliament noted, "There is no 'fast-track' for EU membership and that accession remains a merit-based and structured process, which requires EU membership criteria to be fulfilled and is dependent on the effective implementation of reforms."
It urged the authorities of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia "to unambiguously demonstrate their political determination to implement the European ambitions of their people, accelerating reforms in order to effectively fulfil the criteria for EU membership as soon as possible."
A two-day EU summit opened in Brussels on Thursday. European Council President Charles Michel said that the summit would focus on further steps of the European Union towards strengthening security and stability on the continent, including through assistance to Ukraine. The EU candidate status of Ukraine and Moldova will also be discussed.