Carl Bildt: Ukraine has made a remarkable progress towards EU membership

11 September 2023

Ukraine has made significant progress towards accession to the European Union, and their membership will be dominating the upcoming EU meetings.

The opinion was expressed by Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014), Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994), member of the YES Board, at the Annual meeting of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) "The Future Is Being Decided in Ukraine" organised by YES in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. 

"There is a complicated issue of national minorities and there are some differences in the EU's and Ukraine's views, but nevertheless, significant progress has been made. And I'm fairly confident that about 80% of it has been achieved. And this is a cautious estimate. This is just the beginning of this challenging journey. EU accession negotiations are a long process," Bildt said.

He noted that the process of accepting Ukraine as a new member accelerated significantly from the EU's perspective.

"This process has become much faster than anyone could have predicted a few years ago. I think that Ukraine's membership will be dominating the upcoming EU-level meetings in October. Next, we will discuss prospects and opportunities, and there will be a European Council meeting in December, which will also address this," added the former Prime Minister. 

U.S. Congressman Jim Costa also noted Ukraine's progress on the path to NATO integration.

"I very much hope that next year, Washington will find ways to ensure Ukraine's accession to NATO. There are different points of view among the alliance leaders, but the progress is tangible," he said.

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Stephen Sackur
Stephen Sackur
Presenter, HARDtalk, BBC World New, 14th YES Annual Meeting, 2017
«Russians are going to be fighting with long-term economic misery. And they will have to decide whether they are prepared to put up with it for the nationalist enterprise of staying in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.»