Welcome Ukraine and welcome stronger Union. What happens if Ukraine joins the EU?
On June 23, the leaders of the European Union at a summit in Brussels made a long-awaited decision — Ukraine received the EU candidate status. When Ukraine joins the EU, not only will the Ukrainians feel the changes and the positive influence, but the entire bloc as well.
In this article, we have gathered the most important reasons and factors why the EU also needs Ukraine as its member in the future and what will happen if Ukraine joins the EU. Why will Ukraine make the EU stronger and lead to a stronger European community? How can any European citizen make their voice heard during the most important events in Europe since WWII?
What happens if Ukraine joins the EU?
Ukraine chose its EU future eight years ago, during the Revolution of Dignity. And from that very moment, Ukraine hasn’t stopped fighting for this choice to the last breath. Literally. After all, Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine is currently underway. And it is worth remembering that the main reason for the invasion (the real reason, not the one announced by the Russian authorities) was Ukraine’s pro-European movement, its desire to distance itself from its eastern “neighbor”.
Against the background of Russia’s bloody war, the question of the European future of the Ukrainian people is vital. After all, Ukraine’s EU perspective, sanctions, and military aid are essential conditions of Ukraine’s victory.
Ukraine’s EU membership will strengthen Europe politically, economically, and militarily
Ukraine is a part of the European family. Our country has implemented several structural reforms to move closer to the Copenhagen criteria and will continue to do so in the future.
Since gaining independence, Ukraine has become a European country with a market economy, pluralistic democracy, fair elections, active civil society, and respect for human rights.
Ukraine is a reliable partner of the EU in the international arena. In 2021, our state supported more than 93% of the statements of the European Union. This means that Ukraine’s integration into the foreign and security policy will be easy and harmonious.
Ukraine has proved its capability for fast sectoral integration even in difficult times. Ukraine managed to integrate its unified energy system into the European ENTSO-E energy system during the full-scale war.
To restore a post-war Ukraine, EU producers will receive large orders, which will create new jobs for European citizens. Also, after the victory, Ukraine will create a huge opportunity for European companies in the context of investing in the restoration and reconstruction of a new and prosperous member of the European family.
In addition, Ukraine is a large consumer market where European businesses can sell their goods and establish business facilities.
As one of the largest exporters of agricultural goods, Ukraine will guarantee the food security of European countries.
Ukraine is a major supplier of key crops in the world:
>10% of all wheat
>14% of all corn (32% to EU27)
>47% of all sunflower (62% to EU27)
The EU remains Ukraine’s largest trading partner, including in the agricultural sector. A large percentage of Ukraine’s exports are to the EU: 18.6% of its livestock products, 19.5% of its grains, 39.9% of the products of the milling industry, 62% of its vegetables.
Ukraine is a source of a highly qualified and motivated workforce. In particular, the state has a strong tradition of education in science, IT and engineering.
Ukraine has rapidly developed one of the most potential IT sectors in the world. The IT industry accounts for 4% of GDP and about 200,000 professionals.
With the sixth most powerful army in Europe, Ukraine will significantly strengthen EU security. Moreover, the whole world has witnessed how the Ukrainian army, thanks to its professionalism, courage and efficiency in conducting defensive operations, is repelling the so-called “second army” of the world.
With significant economic potential, highly qualified specialists, a sustainable and creative business sector, Ukraine will be able to significantly contribute to the economic development of a united Europe. Ukraine’s success will ensure the security, stability and democratic development, bringing Eastern Europe more harmoniously into the larger European family.
The EU integration of Ukraine is a logical continuation of historical traditions and democratic state development of the country
Historically, Ukraine has always been part of a large European family. Even in the times of the Kyivan Rus, the rulers established dynastic marriages throughout Europe.
The establishment of dynastic marriages, in particular the marriage of Anna Yaroslavna and King Henry I of France, shows that Ukraine has long been part of a common European history. The lords of Kyiv were conducting active and mutually beneficially diplomacy with other European countries before Moscow was even founded (and centuries before the name “Russia” was made up by Peter the 1st).
Ukrainian culture has always been part of European culture and has given birth to such world-famous artists as artist Kazymyr Malevych, composer Mykola Leontovych, opera singer Solomiya Krushelnytska, sculptor Oleksandr Arkhypenko, and world ballet legend Serzh Lifar, and dozens of others.
Ukraine has a long tradition of philosophical thought, which is part of the European discourse. And this year, we celebrate the 300th-anniversary of the birth of one of the most influential philosophers in Eastern Europe – Grygoriy Skovoroda.
This year’s victory of Ukraine at Eurovision and the fierce support of European viewers confirm our cultural unity and shared community values.
Knowing this pro-European inclination of Ukrainian culture, the occupiers are deliberately committing war crimes against the cultural heritage of Ukraine.
Granting candidate status does not mean immediate membership, but it will legally consolidate Ukraine in the European integration project
Ukrainians have proven their commitment to the European family and fought for their right to receive candidate status and become a member of the EU in the future. No other European nation has paid such a high price for this.
Ukraine is deeply integrated with the European Union. Our state has already reached 63% of the goals of the Association Agreement. This means that most Ukrainian legislation is harmonized with EU legislation.
Ukraine has demonstrated resilience and institutional strength. Despite the full-scale war, the Ukrainian government and its civic community completed the work on the official EU accession questionnaire in record time to obtain candidate status.
In its support of the European integration of Ukraine, Europe is united and unanimous as never before
At the same time, support for EU membership among Ukrainians reached a remarkable 91%, both in the east and west of the country.
– What is the relationship between Ukraine and the EU?
Ukraine has strong partnerships with the EU in economic and political cooperation, energy, culture, education, and human rights.
From March 2022, Ukraine is a possible candidate for EU membership. Ukraine signed the political part of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union on March 21, 2014, and the economic part of the Agreement on June 27, 2014.
On January 1, 2016, Ukraine joined the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. From June 11, 2017, Ukrainian citizens received a visa-free regime for entry into the Schengen area. On March 16, 2022, Ukraine joined the synchronous network of continental Europe, namely ENTSO-E.
– How can countries become members of the EU?
The Treaty on the European Union states that any European country may apply for membership if it respects the democratic values of the EU and is committed to promoting them. The country should meet the key criteria known as the ‘Copenhagen criteria’, which include a functioning market economy, a stable democracy and the rule of law, and the acceptance of all EU legislation.
– What European countries are not in the EU?
European countries Albania, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey are now candidates for EU membership.
The following European countries are not part of the EU: Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and Vatican.
In January 2020, the United Kingdom became the first country to leave the EU.
– What was the last country to join the EU?
Croatia. The last country to become a member of the European Union at the moment was Croatia in July 2013. The European Commission recommended making her an official candidate in early 2004.
Ukraine is a crucial element for the future of a strong Europe. It depends on the EU’s ability to resist Russia’s imperial sentiment. If Russia manages to sow discord among EU member states over Ukraine’s EU membership prospects, Moscow will go further and continue its trials to destroy the European Union itself.