Ukraine’s hopes of a speedy entrance into the European Union were just as quickly dashed on Thursday after both France and Germany blocked the war-torn country’s bid to join.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz addressed his government Thursday and said that while he supported Ukraine in its struggle against Russia, there are “no shortcuts” to membership, reports Newsweek.
“There are no shortcuts on the way to the EU,” Scholz said to the German parliament.
“The accession process is not a matter of a few months or years.”
Scholz argued that allowing Ukraine to expedite the process would be unfair to other countries that would like to attain membership.
French President Emmanuel Macron agreed with the German head-of-state, adding that Ukraine’s path to becoming a full member could take “decades.”
“We all know perfectly well that the process to allow [Ukraine] to join would take several years indeed, probably several decades,” President Emmanuel Macron said.
“That is the truth, unless we decide to lower the standards for accession. And rethink the unity of our Europe.”
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky made the initial appeal for EU membership during a speech to the European Council on March 25, 2022.
Macron suggested Ukraine could be a part of a “parallel European community” — a concept that he has promoted since his re-election.
Chancellor Scholz has also been pushing for the EU to start a reconstruction fund for Ukraine, saying they “must start laying the ground for a solidarity fund financed by contributions from the EU and its partners.”
The European Commission is expected to publish its formal opinion on Ukrainian membership by the end of June.