EU Commission Set to Recommend Formal Membership Negotiations for Ukraine and Moldova

Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and the EU flag (source:

Note: Georgia has also been considered to join the EU

The European Union (EU) is poised to initiate the process for Ukraine and Moldova to attain full membership status, as a forthcoming report is anticipated to recommend formal negotiations for accession.

Nicolae Popescu, Moldova’s deputy prime minister, expressed the significance of this move for his country, describing it as a “truly historical achievement” and an opportunity for Moldova to solidify its position within the EU. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine announced that his country is preparing for its path to EU membership, emphasizing the need to enhance institutions and align with EU standards.

The comprehensive 1,200-page report, set for release on Wednesday, will provide an assessment of Ukraine and Moldova’s progress in aligning themselves with the EU’s principles, focusing on areas such as judicial governance, corruption, economic development, media independence, and minority rights. The report will also offer updates on seven other countries aspiring to join the EU, including Balkan states and Turkey.

In particular, the report may recommend granting official candidate status to Georgia, a significant development for the country. However, the primary spotlight will be on Ukraine and Moldova, both of which were granted candidate status in June 2022.

An interim report had previously commended both nations for their progress with the European Commission. Ukraine had successfully completed two out of seven recommended reforms, with significant or partial progress in the remaining five areas. Moldova was advised to undertake reforms in nine different aspects, including anti-corruption measures and judicial governance, achieving substantial progress in three and making headway in the others by June.

Moldova, a nation with a population of approximately 2.5 million, situated between Romania and Ukraine, has gained international attention due to its vulnerability to Russian interference. Similar to Ukraine, Moldova views its security and future within the EU. President Maia Sandu even alleged an attempted coup by the Wagner group.

Popescu expressed confidence in Moldova’s positive outcome in the upcoming European Commission report, citing the country’s 15-year commitment to aligning with the EU. Moldova intensified its alignment efforts between June and September, creating 35 working groups to prepare for accession talks, training around 300 civil servants on EU matters and institutions, and launching a screening program to identify EU legislative requirements for accession negotiations.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister also anticipated a favorable assessment in the commission report, emphasizing that the ongoing conflict should not affect the evaluation.