Brussels rejects Ukraine bid for EU membership

Brussels rejects Ukraine bid for EU membership

[JURIST] EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner [official profile] told the European Parliament [official website] Tuesday that despite overtures from newly sworn-in Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, the European Union [official website] would not be granting an association accord to the Ukraine, a step that is seen as a pre-acceptance of a nation into the EU. Ferrero-Waldner sais that the EU already had quite a lot to deal with in the ten new member states recently taken on from the former Soviet Union and cannot reasonably expect to add Ukraine to the list and still accomplish all the reforms that are needed. Ferrero-Waldner also said that Ukraine utself had significant steps to take before it would be ready to apply for the EU accession process, and the next few years should focus more on drawing Ukraine into closer association with other European nations. At an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels next Monday, EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana [official profile] is expected to announce a "Ten Point Plan" for closer co-operation between Ukraine and Europe. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage [JURIST country archive] of Ukraine. Read the European Parliament's official position paper on the Ukraine, released Wednesday. ISN News has more.