The head of the federal government confirmed to Mr Zelensky that Belgium would support the granting of candidate country status to Ukraine at the European Council.
The European Commission last Friday recommended granting Ukraine EU candidate status – provided that Kyiv carries out a number of important reforms. In particular, the country must make significant progress with regard to the rule of law, the fight against corruption, the internal market and the protection of minorities. This first green light will have to be approved unanimously by the Twenty-Seven, before the opening of long negotiations for its accession.
A strong signal
“Tomorrow, the Member States of the European Union will give a strong symbolic signal: Ukraine is part of the European family. Today, Ukrainians are fighting for our European values of freedom and democracy. Granting candidate country status is only the beginning of Ukraine’s journey. Considerable efforts will be needed, in particular to fight corruption and establish an effective rule of law. But I am convinced that it is precisely the reconstruction of Ukraine that will provide opportunities to take important steps,” De Croo said in a statement.
The Prime Minister and President Zelensky also spoke during their telephone conversation about the reconstruction of Ukraine. “Resisting against Russia today is already beginning reconstruction,” said Mr. De Croo.
According to him, President Zelensky thanked Belgium for its support.
The Ukrainian Head of State for his part invited Mr. De Croo to go to Ukraine.
“Thank you for the support in granting candidate status (to the EU) and for the significant assistance during the invasion by the Russian Federation,” he said on Twitter.
“We expect Belgium to make a significant contribution to the reconstruction of Ukraine,” added Mr. Zelensky.