Charles Michel on Opening the EU Accession Talks: “December Will Be an Important Moment”

Home / Politics / Charles Michel on Opening the EU Accession Talks: “December Will Be an Important Moment”
In November, the EU Commission will publish a progress report on the conditions imposed on both countries, and next month member states are expected to unanimously decide whether to approve the start of negotiations, European news portal Euractiv reported. EU leaders are expected to greenlight the start of formal accession talks between Ukraine and Moldova at a December summit, European Council President Charles Michel said in a recent interview in Brussels with Portuguese news agency Lusa and other European publications. “December will be an important moment. It will be a difficult meeting, a difficult European Council. I would not underestimate the challenges, but the Commission should publish a report in the coming weeks. The December European Council has to take some decisions on Ukraine, on Moldova and on whether we open negotiations,” Michel said. Days before Friday’s informal European Council in Granada, focused on institutional reforms needed to enlarge the EU bloc, Michel also said he expected decisions in December “on some of the Western Balkans countries.” Reports from EU executive bodies on the fulfilment of reform requirements by candidate countries are expected in early November. Then in December the European Council “will have to see what the Commission report will propose,” Michel added. “We have received a clear signal not only from the European Council but also from many leaders that we should speed up the process and make the necessary efforts. The fact that on Friday the whole European Council will be discussing the future of the EU in relation to this enlargement, I think, is a very telling signal,” he claimed. Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, which have been granted official candidate status for EU membership in mid-2022, hope to get the green light to start formal accession talks by the end of this year - which requires a unanimous decision by EU leaders.