Prime Minister Fiala Attends “Historic” EU Council Summit, Where Ukraine and Moldova Were Granted EU Candidate Status
Against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the latest European Council summit was held in Brussels last Thursday and Friday, 23-24 June. The topic of Ukraine and the impact of the Russian aggression on the countries of the European Union was dominant. Photo credit: vlada.cz
Czech Republic, June 28 (BD) – The latest European Council summit took place last Thursday and Friday. The European Council agreed on granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova for EU membership, and also discussed high energy prices, restrictions on Russian gas supplies to Europe, and inflation. The leaders of the EU-27 also held talks with the leaders of Western Balkan countries, discussed deepening the Union’s relations with other non-member states in Europe, and approved the introduction of the euro in Croatia from January 2023.
One of the most important points of discussion of Thursday’s European Council was the prospective candidate status for the three post-Soviet republics of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, which are seeking membership of the EU. EU leaders followed the European Parliament and Commission and unanimously approved candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova. However, Georgia was not granted candidate status, and it was considered to need to complete further key reforms, they said.
“I would describe this European Council as historic, because of the granting of candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova,” said Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. “This is a great signal, it is important not only for Ukraine and Moldova, but for the whole of Europe. It shows that we share the same values, that we have opened the doors of the European Union to these countries, and thus the European future and perspective. And in the context of the war that the Ukrainian people are bravely facing, this is an important signal from the EU.”
Leaders also discussed the current energy crisis and the high inflation rate in a number of Member States. The energy crisis is connected with the war in Ukraine, as many European countries are highly dependent on Russian oil and gas supplies. “We agreed that the Member States will coordinate more on energy purchases and on the acquisition of alternative sources so that we can cope with both energy prices and the problems with energy supplies from Russia and make use of all the opportunities offered by a common Europe,” said Fiala. He added that the bloc was establishing a voluntary platform for joint energy purchases, which should allow the purchase of gas at lower prices.