Maasikas: There is yet no consensus among EU countries on possibility of Ukraine's membership.

There is yet no consensus among the EU member states on the possibility of Ukraine's membership in the EU, but the agreements concluded between the EU and Ukraine, in particular the Association Agreement, provide very important tools in bringing Ukraine closer to the EU in terms of standards and regulations.

"EU membership is decided by the EU states unanimously. It’s a very good rule in any club … so that everybody feels comfortable. At the moment, there is yet no consensus within the EU member states of granting this, what we call in the EU slang, “European perspective”, meaning a promise that if an aspirant country fulfils all the criteria, then the country can become a member… The Association Agreement is so broad, it entails making Ukraine a much more European country in terms of standards, regulations, and policies,” Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas said during the Europe Day live chat with the EU representatives in the Eastern Partnership countries, held under the auspices of the European External Action Service on May 9.

The European diplomat noted that three countries of the Eastern Partnership – Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova – clearly stated that their goal is a full-fledged membership, calling themselves associated partners and sometimes even "associated members" of the EU. At the same time, the association agreements between these countries and the European Union do not foresee the next step.

"I face this question pretty often: ‘what's the next big step in our relations?’ We have the Association Agreement, we have visa-free travel, what is the next big thing? I always answer: the agreements we have, millions of Ukrainians visiting the EU or working in Europe, Ukrainian officials working with EU officials, EU authorities and also EU agencies, etc. This all, this work brings us closer together every day. In my conviction, it brings us to the point when we will wonder why Ukraine couldn’t or shouldn’t join [the EU]? I am personally convinced that I will live to see that day. To get there, much work needs to be done. The EU is at Ukraine’s disposal in better doing this job," Maasikas added.

Earlier, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine's membership in the EU and NATO was a matter of time but there were no specific deadlines for accession. Therefore, Ukraine should focus not on deadlines, but on reforms that bring it closer to this goal.

Ukraine's strategic course for EU and NATO membership is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine.

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