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2023-12-11 at 16h03

Portugal backs negotiations for Ukraine to join the European Union

Prime Minister António Costa claimed on Monay 11 December that Portugal backs the European Commission’s position of recommending opening negotiations for Ukraine to join the European Union (EU) in the future. 

"Portugal’s position is quite clear. All the enlargement processes must be merit-based and in accordance with the assessment made by the Commission ", claimed the Prime Minister in Parliament, adding that "if the European Commission feels a new step must be taken towards opening negotiations with Ukraine, Portugal follows the European Commission and will back" moving forward in Ukraine’s integration process. 

Addressing the members of parliament in the discussion to prepare the upcoming European Council, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, the Cabinet leader advocated this must not be an isolated process.

"It is not possible to disconnect the EU’s enlargement process to Ukraine without taking into account the Western Balkan states’ applications. This was the context under which I recently visited Albania, North Macedonia, and Montenegro. We believe it is necessary to take steps forward on all of them with a view to enlargement", António Costa noted, adding that Portugal has advantages in dialogue with these countries, seeing that given that for "reasons of geographical distance, history or culture", "it is no one’s sponsor" and "looks at all of them with equal objectivity".

Envisaging a "long and difficult European Council that likely won’t end on Friday", the Prime Minister said he expects that the meeting will lead to "an unequivocal compromise by the EU regarding the expectations it gave Ukraine and the Western Balkan states, which results from a political and moral imperative, yet also a proper understanding of the geopolitical challenges posed on the European Union". 

Prime minister