European Parliament Press Kit for the European Council of 23 and 24 June 2022

(Source: European Parliament)

In this press kit, you will find a selection of the European Parliament’s press releases that show MEPs’ priorities in relation to topics on the summit agenda.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola will represent the European Parliament at the summit and address the heads of state or government at around 15.00 on 23 June. She will hold a press conference in the European Council press room at around 16.00.

 

The 23-24 June EU summit will focus on Russia’s war against Ukraine, the Conference on the Future of Europe, and economic issues. On 23 June, EU heads of state or government will also meet with Western Balkan leaders to discuss the region’s accession perspectives.

 

Additional information, including contact details for the MEPs involved, can be found on the European Parliament’s website.

 

 

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine

 

Candidate Status of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia

 

On 23 June, Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the heads of state or government to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova “without delay”. They should do the same with Georgia “once its government has delivered” on the priorities indicated by the European Commission.

 

In the context of the brutal Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, this move would equate to showing leadership, resolve and vision, say MEPs. They insist that there is no ‘fast-track’ for EU membership and that accession remains a merit-based and structured process, which requires EU membership criteria to be fulfilled and is dependent on the effective implementation of reforms.

 

The resolution stresses that there is no alternative to enlargement, which is “more than ever a geostrategic investment” in a stable, strong and united EU. The prospect of full EU membership for the countries striving to become member states is in the European Union’s own political, economic and security interests. MEPs also demand that the enlargement process be “re-energised” and unblocked as regards the Western Balkans.

 

EP President Roberta Metsola welcomed the Commission’s recommendation of 17 June to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova. “Candidate status for Ukraine sends a strong political signal. Against autocracy. For freedom. We also welcome the recommendation to give Moldova candidate status. And to work towards giving the same opportunity to the people of Georgia. Our door must remain open. To strengthen Europe, to protect our values, and to stand up for freedom”, she said.

 

In a statement on 9 June, Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (President Metsola and political group leaders) urged the EU’s heads of state or government “to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, in line with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union and as the start to a merit-based process, and to work towards granting the same status to Georgia, fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the Georgian people.”

 

Plenary debate on the EU summit

 

On 22 June, MEPs outlined their expectations for the 23-24 June European Council in a plenary debate with the French Presidency of the Council and Commission President von der Leyen. An overwhelming majority of MEPs said that Ukraine and Moldova should become EU candidate countries as soon as possible. Georgia is also part of the European family but needs to implement more reforms. Many speakers said that reforms remain necessary -especially in Georgia-, with some stating that the path will not be a short one and referencing the Copenhagen criteria for EU accession. MEPs also highlighted that Western Balkan countries need to be treated fairly and their accession process should be unlocked.

 

Speaker of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk

 

On 8 June, the Speaker of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament) Ruslan Stefanchuk addressed MEPs and called on the EU to endorse his country’s membership application. Welcoming Mr Stefanchuk to the hemicycle in Strasbourg, Parliament’s President Roberta Metsola underscored that the European Parliament will continue to actively support Ukraine’s efforts to be granted EU candidate status. In his speech, Mr Stefanchuk expressed his deep wish for the European Union to strongly support his country’s desire to be granted EU candidate status. Ukraine and its people need this powerful message from Europe, he underlined, while pointing out that any other political signal would only benefit Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime. He also thanked the European Parliament for its strong support for his country.

 

Sanctions

 

During a debate on 8 June on the latest European Council with Presidents Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, MEPs very broadly welcomed the unity heads of state or government showed when adopting an additional packet of sanctions against Russia and the determination to tackle the food insecurity caused by Russia. Various MEPs also stressed the urgent need to arm Ukraine better, arguing that although sanctions were an effective weapon against Russia, their effect would be felt in the long term only, not in the next few months when Ukraine most needed Russia to be weakened.

 

Food corridors

 

A delegation from the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, led by Chair Norbert Lins, travelled to the Polish-Ukrainian border on 20-21 June 2022. During the visit, MEPs visited the Medyka (rail) and Korczowa (road) border crossings to assess the import of Ukrainian agricultural commodities and the potential for alternative routes. The capacity for storing agricultural products was the subject of an exchange of views between MEPs and Ukrainian business and trade representatives.

 

On 24 March, Parliament adopted a resolution calling for food corridors to be established to and from Ukraine and called for robust long-term humanitarian food aid for Ukraine from both the EU and at international level. Food corridors to and from Ukraine should serve as an alternative to closed Black Sea ports and Ukrainian farmers should also be provided with scarce seeds, fuels and fertilisers.

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