Parliament’s fierce criticism of Ukraine action Ursula von der Leyen | Inland

Von der Leyen made her statements on Friday. She wants to bring forward the start of the accession procedure by many months, especially for Ukraine. Critical parties accuse the EC chairman of a large dose of symbolism, as well as cultivating false hopes. After all, the actual accession procedure will take many years. In addition, according to the critics, Ukraine’s favoritism cannot be sold to other countries that are already in the procedure.

Ukrainian President Zelensky expressed his desire to become an EU member in his speech to the House of Representatives more than a week ago. It earned him a standing ovation from the MPs present.

Visit to Zelenski

Von der Leyen made her statements on Friday during a visit to Volodimir Zelenski. She handed the Ukrainian president a questionnaire that forms the starting point for the EU to decide on EU membership. “It will not, as usual, be a matter of years to form this opinion, but a matter of weeks.”

With SP MP Jasper van Dijk, the action went wrong. He has reported the matter for next Tuesday’s question time. He wants to know from Prime Minister Rutte whether he agrees with the party that this is ‘a rash action’.

“Maybe it is understandable because of the war Ukraine is in, but what von der Leyen did is unwise. A sausage is being held for membership that will not be fulfilled for the next ten years. Preferential treatment cannot be explained to the other candidate countries either.”

The VVD has also seen Von der Leyen’s PR moment with a shake of the head. “We think it is unwise to promise Ukraine membership because that creates an expectation that it would be very close, when it is not. This is a process with many conditions and guarantees. They are there for a reason,” emphasizes MP Roelien Kamminga.

Wilders: ‘Time for her to leave’

PVV leader Wilders goes in with a straight leg. He calls von der Leyen’s words about an accelerated EU membership for Ukraine “nonsensical and unwise gibberish”.

“And who was she speaking for? She was elected by no one, has zero mandate and even less common sense. It’s time for her to step down.”

According to EU experts, it is unrealistic for Ukraine to become an EU member at an accelerated pace. Von der Leyen’s action is mainly seen as symbolic. It is a process that takes many years and in the end it is up to the 27 EU member states to decide unanimously on the possible admission of Ukraine, not to von der Leyen and the European Commission (EC).

But before the 27 EU countries vote on a possible candidate for membership for Ukraine, EC advice is required first. This process normally also takes one and a half to two years, although no specific time period is specified in the EU rules. The EU could therefore – if it really wanted to – choose to shorten the process extremely. This would be a political choice, but one that could set a precedent.


D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma sees no problem with that. “Appreciation of von der Leyen’s strategic course. It recognizes that Ukraine has chosen the EU’s values ​​and is now literally fighting for them. It therefore rightly wants to offer Ukraine a European perspective as soon as possible within the existing conditions.”

Prime Minister Rutte previously said he was not keen on an EU cut-off route for Ukraine. As far as he is concerned, it will remain a matter of ‘deepening cooperation’ for the time being.

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