Ukraine Seeks Austrian Support for EU Membership

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: May 18, 2022; 16:40 ♦ (Vindobona)

A Ukrainian delegation is currently in Austria to seek supporters for their country's EU accession. After Ukraine officially submitted its ambitions to the European Union, a recommendation from the European Commission is now eagerly awaited to determine whether Ukraine should be granted candidate status. Read on to find out more.

Austria sees Ukraine as part of the European family. / Picture: © Thomas Topf / © Parlamentsdirektion

After the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy demanded the immediate admission of his country to the European Union a few days after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the world is eagerly awaiting the accession negotiations.

In the long term, accession of the currently war-torn country is quite possible, Ursula von der Leyen confirmed in an interview shortly before. But it won't be easy - apart from countless access regulations and hurdles that Ukraine has to overcome, one thing above all is important. A new member state must be decided unanimously by all existing EU members.

Now, a Ukrainian parliamentary delegation led by Mariia Mezentseva, who belongs to the Zelenskyy party "Servants of the People", is in Austria and met members of the EU Subcommittee in Parliament during their visit to Vienna to promote the Ukrainian state.

The guests were received by ÖVP mandatary Reinhold Lopatka, who was appointed OSCE Special Representative on Dialogue with Ukraine only last week. The talks focused primarily on Ukraine's rapprochement process with the EU and possible Austrian support in the prosecution of war crimes.

Ukraine hopes for positive recommendation on EU candidate status

Mariia Mezentseva appealed for Austria's support for the rapprochement with the EU, saying that her country was fighting for common European values and could represent an added value for the Union.

The official recognition of Ukraine's status as a candidate country was very important for the country and she hoped that the Commission's recommendation, which had been eagerly announced for June, would be positive. More than 63% of the roadmap laid down in the Association Agreement had already been implemented.

The head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe thanked Austria for the aid measures taken so far and above all for the support provided to more than 70,000 refugees. She also appreciated the fact that Austrian politicians had visited Ukraine in recent weeks.

Mezentseva pointed out the high number of war crimes. The investigation team working in cooperation with the International Criminal Court, which also includes representatives from Poland and Lithuania, has already registered more than 11,000 cases.

However, further support is needed, especially in the technical area. This also applies to the necessary demining measures so that people can return to their home regions. The member of the opposition, Rustem Umerov, pleaded for the aid to be diverted from the NGOs to the government, which he said was working more effectively. He also reported terrible atrocities on the part of Russia, which are discovered in every community and town liberated by Ukrainian forces.

Austria sees Ukraine as a common European partner

Ukraine is fighting for our values and a free democratic world, said Reinhold Lopatka, Chairman of the EU Subcommittee. Especially in his function as OSCE Special Representative, he would continue to seek parliamentary dialogue and work towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Austrian Parliament