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European Parliament votes on candidate status for Ukraine — RT World News

The motion in support of Kyiv’s bid preceded the European Council summit, where EU leaders are expected to make the decision

A large majority of MEPs supported granting EU candidate status to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The vote preceded the European Council summit on Thursday and Friday, which is expected to decide whether to accept the candidacies of the three EU candidates.

Some 529 members of the European Parliament voted in favor of the resolution, 45 against, and 14 others abstained in Thursday’s vote.

This was preceded by a plenary session on Wednesday, after which a press release was issued arguing for the award of the coveted status to the three nations.

In light of Putin’s aggression and the commitment of the Ukrainian, Moldovan and Georgian peoples to their European future, an overwhelming majority of MEPs called on EU leaders to pave the way for membership for the three country,“, we read in the document.

The statement notes, however, that a number of MEPs stressed the importance of continued reforms in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in particular. Others noted that the road to EU membership would be long for these three nations.

European Parliament resolutions are not binding. And although a majority of MEPs and the European Commission have backed Ukraine’s candidacy, the final say rests with the heads of state and government of the 27 EU member states.

The European Council summit meets on Thursday and will continue until Friday. The leaders are expected to give their opinion on whether the three candidate countries, including Ukraine, are eligible to become candidates.

kyiv submitted its formal application for EU membership in late February, days after Russia attacked Ukraine.

Moldova and Georgia followed suit in early March.

Several media had previously claimed that a few member states initially opposed Ukraine’s candidacy. French President Emmanuel Macron had warned Ukraine and other hopefuls that EU membership could be decades away for them, and even suggested creating a “European political community” as an alternative.

However, since the European Commission issued its opinion last Friday, the tone of the statements of the various member states has changed, with talk of a consensus on the Ukrainian candidacy having prevailed in recent days.

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