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  • Olha Stefanishyna: Victory on the battlefield and successful European integration process are Ukraine’s main goals
    Service of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, posted 29 May 2023 20:12

    Our goal is indivisible, victory on the battlefield and a successful process of European integration towards EU membership. This was emphasised by Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, during the thematic panel “Ukraine’s Road to Brussels” on the first day of the GLOBSEC international security forum in Bratislava, Slovakia.

    “In the context of a full-scale war, we were primarily thinking about how to survive and preserve the state, but the granting of the EU candidate status to Ukraine gave us a sense of full support from the EU and encouraged us to initiate large-scale changes that go beyond the implementation of the European Commission’s seven recommendations,” said Olha Stefanishyna. “Comprehensive reforms are underway, we are in constant dialogue with the Venice Commission, the European Commission and EU member states. Joint consultations and planning are ongoing, but this is not just about fulfilling Ukraine’s international obligations, these are the changes we are making first and foremost for Ukrainian citizens.”

    The representative of the Ukrainian Government stressed the importance of keeping the Ukrainian agenda at the forefront, despite the many issues requiring the EU’s attention: “We have to realise that the successful development of Europe is impossible without the participation of Ukraine. It is important to understand that first we have to win the war quickly, restore justice and hold russia to account. It is impossible to discuss economic development or internal transformation of the EU without ending the war, providing Ukraine with security guarantees and further integration into the EU.”

    Olha Stefanishyna also noted that it was Ukraine that had pushed forward the complex issues of EU enlargement that had remained unanswered for decades.

    “I would like to point out that Ukraine has never asked for a fast track to EU membership in the sense of leniency, non-compliance with procedures or skipping the formal stage of the procedure for full EU membership," explained Olha Stefanishyna. “When we talk about Ukraine’s fast track, we primarily mean that Ukraine will act quickly, achieve results quickly, and we expect the same pace from our partners. For example, we are now preparing to start accession negotiations, we have launched the process of assessing Ukrainian legislation in order to be able to move quickly.”

    For her part, Katarína Mathernová, European Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, noted that Ukraine had already achieved significant results in implementing seven recommendations of the European Commission, with particular attention paid to judicial reform and the effective functioning of anti-corruption bodies.

    Olha Stefanishyna also added that it was important that recent events in Ukraine clearly demonstrated that no high-ranking official, judge or civil servant was “immune” and would be held accountable for any crimes or dishonesty in the performance of their duties.

    Vice-President of the European Parliament Michal Šimečka stressed that Ukrainians were fighting and dying for European values and had high expectations of the EU, so the European Union must now recognise this and find ways to meet Ukraine’s expectations.


    The GLOBSEC 2023 international security forum is taking place on 29-31 May in Bratislava, Slovakia. This year’s main topics of discussion are Europe’s resilience in the face of war, sustainable support for Ukraine, and ways to mitigate the global consequences of war through global dialogue.

    The broadcast is available here.