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EU to open membership talks with Ukraine, Moldova next week

Kevin Whitelaw, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

The European Union formally agreed to open negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova over membership in the bloc, an important symbolic step in a process that will take years to play out.

EU member states cleared the final hurdle Friday and formal accession discussions can begin on June 25 in Luxembourg, according to Belgium, which holds the bloc’s rotating presidency.

Hungary had been blocking the move, citing concerns including the protection of Hungarian minorities in Ukraine, a longstanding demand that Brussels and Kyiv insist has been addressed.

Back in March, the European Commission proposed a negotiating framework to establish guidelines and principles for accession negotiations, following a decision by EU leaders to open membership talks with Ukraine in December.


The process ahead for Ukraine and Moldova will be lengthy and complicated, particularly amid the ongoing Russian invasion. Croatia was the last country to join the bloc and its application lasted 10 years before it was formally accepted in 2013.

—With assistance from Jorge Valero.

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