I have consistently raised with An Taoiseach the need for the European Union to progress Ukraine’s Membership application.
Below is a reply by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the most recent Parliamentary Question I tabled in Dáil Éireann on this important issue.
For Written Answer on : 01/06/2022
Question Number(s): 124 Question Reference(s): 28451/22
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has had any recent discussions with his counterparts in the European Union Foreign Affairs Council and with the European Union Commission in relation to the need to progress Ukraine’s European Union membership application to candidate status; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The EU has been united in providing support to Ukraine in its struggle as a consequence of Russia’s unjustified and illegal further invasion since 24 February.
On 28 February, President Zelenskyy of Ukraine submitted a letter to the Presidency formally applying for membership of the European Union, in accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty. In light of the grave situation facing Ukraine, President Zelenskyy has requested that the application be treated under ‘a special procedure’.
Ireland fully supports Ukraine’s application for EU Membership. EU leaders have acted swiftly in inviting the European Commission to submit its opinion on Ukraine’s application to become a member. We recognise the transformative value of enlargement as a promoter of stability, peace and economic development and want to extend that opportunity to all those who aspire and fulfil the criteria.
The EU membership process has legalities and benchmarks which need to be met. We should not forget that there are other countries pursuing this process. That needs to be managed sensitively. However, we all recognise that the Ukrainian people are upholding the fundamental values at the heart of the European Union, in many cases with their own lives.
We are currently awaiting the European Commission’s Opinion on the application of Ukraine for membership which is expected by mid-June. It will be important to have a swift but thorough consideration of that opinion; Ireland will continue to stress the importance of this and will ensure full and rapid consideration of the Commission’s opinion at national level.
It will then be for the European Council to consider the Commission’s Opinion and to decide whether to grant candidate status or possibly potential candidate status which would be subject to completion of certain conditions on the part of the applicant. Ireland will continue to engage fully in discussions with EU partners, at all levels, in the coming weeks, as the consideration of Ukraine’s application is underway.