EU candidate status does not mean instant membership accession or even immediate start to negotiations, so it does not provide the country an immediate right to join the EU. Ukraine does not insist on receiving a fast-track procedure to become an EU member state. However, it is clearly committed to fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria for accession. Despite promises by Brussels to accelerate the granting of candidacy status, Ukraine does still need to implement an enormous amount of EU acquis communautaire to become a part of the EU Single Market and Customs Union. Both the Ukrainian government and civil society clearly realize that they have been continuously working (often in tandem) on the implementation of the Association Agreement (AA) / The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTA) and achieved important progress in this respect. According to the report of the Ukrainian Centre for European Policy (UCEP) Ukraine has implemented 49% of its obligations (including intermediary steps) under the framework of the AA in the 1st half of 2021. In January 2022, the PM of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal announced the figure of 63% for the overall progress in implementing the AA. However, it is crucial for Ukraine to receive EU candidate status at this particular time.
Ukrainian Center for European Policy