The European Council has now accepted the application of Ukraine and Moldova to become a “candidate member” countries of the European Union (EU). The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, welcoming the award of candidate membership, described it as “a unique and historic moment” in his country’s relationship with the 27 members of the EU and that “Ukraine’s future is within the EU.”
However, full membership for Ukraine is years and possibly decades away. This is because membership is only granted when the candidate country is able to satisfy the “Copenhagen Criteria” for membership. These criteria include a functioning market economy, a stable democracy supported by the rule of law, and the acceptance of all EU legislation and the common currency, the Euro….