European Council: Ukraine and Moldova granted EU candidate status

Published in Politics
Friday, 24 June 2022 10:38

On 23 June, EU leaders meeting in the European Council agreed to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status.

A historic moment. Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” wrote European Council President Charles Michel on Twitter. “Congratulations to Zelenskyy and Maia Sandu and the people of Ukraine and Moldova. Our future is together.” 

At the same time, the Council decided to recognise the European perspective of Georgia,  and, according to Michel, “is ready to grant candidate status once the outstanding priorities are addressed”.

The decision follows the Opinions issued by the European Commission on all three EU accession applications on 17 June.

I am very pleased with the Leaders’ endorsement of our Opinions,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the press conference following the Council. “Of course, the countries all have homework to do before moving to the next stage of the accession process. But I am convinced that they will all move as swiftly as possible and work as hard as possible to implement the necessary reforms.” She added that the changes needed for the EU accession would primarily benefit the states’ democracies, economies and citizens.

This decision strengthens us all. It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, in the face of Russian imperialism and it strengthens the European Union, because it shows once again to the world that we are united and strong in the face of external threats, said  Ursula von der Leyen.

In their Conclusions adopted on 23 June, EU leaders said:

  • The European Council recognises the European perspective of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. The future of these countries and their citizens lies within the European Union.
  • The European Council has decided to grant the status of candidate country to Ukraine and to the Republic of Moldova.
  • The Commission is invited to report to the Council on the fulfilment of the conditions specified in the Commission’s opinions on the respective membership applications as part of its regular enlargement package. The Council will decide on further steps once all these conditions are fully met.
  • The European Council is ready to grant the status of candidate country to Georgia once the priorities specified in the Commission’s opinion on Georgia’s membership application have been addressed.
  • The progress of each country towards the European Union will depend on its own merit in meeting the Copenhagen criteria, taking into consideration the EU’s capacity to absorb new members.

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Press release

European Council Conclusions

Von der Leyen back in Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President

Published in World
Monday, 13 June 2022 12:22

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has travelled to Kyiv today, meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

“Good to be back in Kyiv,” she tweeted. “I will take stock of the joint work needed for reconstruction and of the progress made by Ukraine on its European path.”

Speaking at a press point with the Ukrainian President, she said the EU and Ukraine were working together on a reconstruction platform to channel contributions, adding there was “huge interest from all over the world – NGOs, businesses, international institutions – to help Ukraine rise from the ashes.”

She added that the European Commission was currently preparing its recommendation for the EU member states – the so-called opinion – on Ukraine’s EU accession application. “We have been working day and night on this assessment. The discussions today will enable us to finalise our assessment by the end of next week,” she said, adding: “The path is known. It is a merit-based path forward. It is a path where I highly appreciate the enormous efforts and the determination of Ukraine in this process.”

It is the European Commission President’s second visit to Ukraine since the full-scale Russian invasion. On 8 April, Ursula von der Leyen travelled to Kyiv, launching Ukraine’s EU application process by handing the Ukrainian President the questionnaire that would form the starting point for the EU to decide on Ukraine’s membership.

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Twitter thread

EU announces new aid worth €200 million for displaced people

Published in Politics
Friday, 06 May 2022 09:48

The European Commission today announced a new aid package of €200 million to support displaced people in Ukraine, in the context of the International Donors’ Conference convened jointly by Poland and Sweden.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Today we came together with a clear purpose: to support the brave people of Ukraine, who fight the aggressor and stand up for their freedom. We are now in the 10th week of Russia’s brutal invasion. Ten weeks during which the European Union stood firmly by Ukraine. Today, the European Union answered the call, once more, to support Ukraine. On behalf of the European Commission, I pledged €200 million for Ukraine. And last month, during a pledging event, we raised €9.1 billion for Ukrainians inside and outside Ukraine. We know that more will be needed. And we will continue to stand up for Ukraine.

Close to 8 million people, two-third of whom are children, have been internally displaced since the beginning of Putin’s war in Ukraine. More than 5.3 million have left Ukraine to seek shelter in the EU and neighbouring countries.

The European Union has been supporting the Ukrainian people from the very beginning of  Russia’s brutal invasion, mobilising the EU’s economic power, with series of sanctions designed to drain the resources used by Putin to finance his war. 

On the other hand, the EU has already channelled around €4 billion in macro-financial assistance, humanitarian aid and support to Member States welcoming refugees from Ukraine.

Now, the European Commission stands ready to help rebuild the country after the war. Yesterday, President von der Leyen proposed to start working on an ambitious recovery package. It should bring the massive investment needed to rebuild, implement reforms and make Ukraine an attractive place for investments.

Source: EU NEIGHBOURS east

€9.1 billion pledged in support of internally displaced and refugees

Published in World
Monday, 11 April 2022 10:17

The “Stand Up for Ukraine” global pledging event and campaign has raised €9.1 billion for people fleeing the Russian invasion, inside Ukraine and abroad, including €1 billion from the European Commission. On top of that, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced an additional €1 billion in loan to cover the needs of the people displaced by the invasion.

Speaking today in Warsaw where the event was held, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The solidarity of countries, companies and people worldwide offers some light in this dark hour. The ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ campaign has raised €9.1 billion for people fleeing bombs, inside and outside Ukraine, with an additional billion pledged by the EBRD. And more will come. We will continue providing support. And once the bombs have stopped falling, we will help the people of Ukraine rebuild their country. We will continue to Stand up for Ukraine.”

Out of these €9.1 billion, €1.8 billion are for internally displaced persons in Ukraine and €7.3 billion are for hosting refugees in EU Member States and neighbouring countries.

The pledge is broken down as follows:

  • €4.1 billion are financial contributions and in-kind donations for internally displaced people and refugees pledged by governments, companies and individuals around the world.
  • €5 billion are loans and grants from European public financial institutions (the European Investment Bank, and the Council of Europe Development Bank).

Pledges from governments for internally displaced people in Ukraine will be now channelled largely through the Ukrainian authorities, central and local level. Donations from the private sector and individuals for internally displaced people will be channelled mainly through UN agencies.

The Stand Up For Ukraine online pledging event concludes a broader social media campaign launched by the European Commission and the Canadian Government on Saturday 26 March, in partnership with Global Citizen. 

The campaign answers a call for support launched by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The aim of the campaign was to raise funding and other types of support to cater for the needs of the people fleeing the invasion inside and outside Ukraine.

In recognition of Poland’s essential role in supporting refugees fleeing the invasion of Ukraine, the Stand Up For Ukraine pledging event took place in Warsaw, with the participation of President Andrzej Duda.

Source: EU neighbours east

EU-China Summit: Restoring peace and stability in Ukraine is a shared responsibility

Published in World
Monday, 04 April 2022 10:13

The European Union and China held their 23rd bilateral Summit via videoconference on 1 April, bringing together President of the European Council Charles Michel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping. 

The EU and China discussed extensively Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, the world’s economy, food and energy security, and the fight against COVID-19. 

The EU called on China to support efforts to bring about an immediate end to the bloodshed in Ukraine, consistent with China’s role in the world as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and its uniquely close relations with Russia.

“As major global powers, the EU and China must work together on stopping Russia’s war in Ukraine as soon as possible. We have a common responsibility to maintain peace and stability, and a safe and sustainable world,” Charles Michel said“We count on China’s support to achieve a lasting ceasefire, to stop the unjustifiable war and address the dramatic humanitarian crisis it has generated.”

“We underlined that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not only a defining moment for our continent, but also for our relationship with the rest of the world. There must be respect for international law, as well as for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Ursula von der Leyen, adding that China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has a special responsibility.

Referring to the tightening of sanctions against Russia, von der Leyen said that more than 40 countries in total have joined these sanctions. “So we also made it very clear that China should, if not support, at least not interfere with our sanctions,” she stated in a joint press conference following the summit.

She also said that in terms of bilateral trade between the EU and China, continuing business with Russia carries great reputational risks: “This is a question of trust, of reliability and, of course, of decisions on long-term investments. Let me remind you that every day, China and the European Union trade almost €2 billion worth of goods and services. In comparison, trade between China and Russia is only some €330 million per day. So a prolongation of the war, and the disruptions it brings to the world economy, is therefore in no-one’s interest, certainly not in China’s.

Stand Up For Ukraine: global pledging event for refugees and internally displaced people to take place in Warsaw on 9 April

Published in Economics
Friday, 01 April 2022 12:22

The ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ pledging event, convened by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, will take place in Warsaw on 9 April. Poland’s important role in supporting refugees fleeing the invasion of Ukraine will thus be recognised. 

The President of Poland Andrzej Duda will participate alongside President von der Leyen, while Prime Minister Trudeau will participate remotely.

The event will conclude a broader social media campaign launched earlier by the European Commission and the Canadian government at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski. The campaign, in partnership with Global Citizen, an international human rights organisation, aims to raise funding and other types of support to cater for the needs of internally displaced people in Ukraine and of refugees.

Stand Up For Ukraine’ seeks to mobilise governments, institutions, artists, companies and individuals to raise funding and other support for Ukrainian IDPs and refugees. Artists from around the world have already joined the campaign, including Bono, Madonna, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Adam Lambert, Céline Dion, and Alanis Morissette.

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, more than four million refugees have fled Ukraine since the war began. Poland is hosting more than 2.5 million refugees and plays an important role as a humanitarian hub, dispatching to Ukraine support from all over Europe.

President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a joint Task Force to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and strengthen European energy security

Published in World
Tuesday, 29 March 2022 10:34
President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a joint Task Force to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and strengthen European energy security as President Putin wages his war of choice against Ukraine.
This Task Force for Energy Security will be chaired by a representative from the White House and a representative of the President of the European Commission. It will work to ensure energy security for Ukraine and the EU in preparation for next winter and the following one while supporting the EU’s goal to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
The Task Force will organize its efforts around two primary goals: (1) Diversifying liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies in alignment with climate objectives; (2) Reducing demand for natural gas.
 
US Embassy Tbilisi, Georgia

EU and USA: we are united in our resolve to support Ukraine and defend our shared values

Published in Politics
Friday, 25 March 2022 18:41

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden issued a joint statement after their meeting in Brussels on 24 March expressing their condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine and their solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

“Today, we are continuing coordinated transatlantic efforts to support the Ukrainian people, impose severe costs on Russia for its unjustifiable actions, and strengthen the resilience of our democracies, economies, and societies,” the statement said. 

They confirmed they would coordinate responses against sanctions evasion and continue to mobilise and coordinate significant humanitarian relief to support people within Ukraine. This includes more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance the United States is prepared to provide and €550 million from the EU.

The EU and the United States said new actions would be taken to strengthen democratic sustainability and protect human rights in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. They will also continue supporting the work of war crimes documentation experts who are gathering evidence on the ground in Ukraine.

Von der Leyen and Biden added that the EU and USA were taking further, concrete steps in energy cooperation to ensure the security of supply and to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

In order to prevent a potential food crisis triggered by price hikes and disruptions to food supply sparked by Putin’s war in Ukraine, the EU and USA intend to redouble their combined efforts to increase global food security and provide direct food aid, where warranted, worldwide.

Both sides will also advance their cooperation on cybersecurity through a variety of actions – from supporting the Government of Ukraine on cyber resilience and cyber defence to aiming to combat the abuse of virtual currency.

Associated Trio Prime Ministers’ Letter to President of the European Commission

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 01 June 2021 15:06

On May 31, the Prime Ministers of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine addressed President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission in a joint letter requesting EU assistance in supplying the Eastern Partnership states with COVID-19 vaccines.

The Prime Ministers underline the EU's immediate assistance provided to partner countries since the start of the pandemic in the fight against COVID-19 and its consequent social and economic challenges.

The letter points out that, at this point, safe mass vaccination is key to defeating the pandemic, the reason why the Prime Ministers of the three countries address the European Commission with a request for the EU to expand its vaccine sharing mechanism to cover the Eastern Partnership states which, along with vaccines acquired from other sources, will help said countries replenish their vaccine supplies in a timely manner. The Heads of Government express commitment to continuing cooperation with the European Commission in this direction.

Press Service of the Government Administration  

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