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Ukraine is pushing for EU membership. But what are the real chances?


President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has a clear message for the European Union: Ukraine wants in.

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“Do prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you are indeed Europeans,” the president, wearing military attire, told the European Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

The previous day, Zelenskyy had signed an official application asking for EU membership, a step that any European county is allowed to initiate on its own. Upping the ante, Zelenskyy requested a fast-tracked procedure to ensure his country joins the bloc as soon as feasibly possible.

The move from Kyiv follows comments made by Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, during an interview with Euronews, where she appeared to endorse Ukraine’s bid.

“They belong to us. They are one of us and we want them in,” von der Leyen.

An overwhelming majority of MEPs also backed the idea with a non-binding resolution, demanding Ukraine receive candidate status in line with the EU treaties and a “merit-based” approach.

“I think there are moments in time where you need have the courage to take great strides ahead, and if you look at previous enlargements it was always a political decision that had to do with security, with freedom,” said Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch MEP whose liberal party has proposed to welcome Zelenskyy’s party.

The pain will be felt from the cities to the outback, but Mr Parnham said the increase was well overdue, with the average $4 price for a standard latte, cappuccino and flat white remaining stable for years.

“The reality is it should be $6-7. It’s just that cafés are holding back on passing that pricing on per cup to the consumer,” he said.

But roaster Raoul Hauri said it hadn’t made a dent in sales, with more than 300 customers still coming through the doors for their daily fix. “No one really batted an eyelid,” he said. “We thought we would get more pushback, but I think at the moment people understand.

ur coffee plantation once more.”

How do you join the EU?

In fact, the so-called accession process is a complex, arduous and expensive undertaking that drags out over several years, even decades, and requires an exceptional commitment from the candidate country, which is asked to implement a lengthy catalogue of reforms to comply with EU norms.

Most importantly, the whole process rests on the political will of the 27 member states. Even if the Commission is the one leading the negotiations and conducting the groundwork, it is up to the capitals to green light each and every step of the road – by unanimity.

The need for consensus has proved to be a recurrent obstacle for enlargement. Bulgaria is currently blocking accession talks with North Macedonia – and, by extension, with Albania – due to a longstanding dispute involving historical and linguistic grievances.

Meanwhile, the other three official candidates – Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey – remain stuck in a negotiation limbo with no breakthrough in sight. In the case of Ankara, the starting date goes back all the way to 1987.

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