A Dublin MEP is calling for Ukraine to be allowed join the EU ‘within a reasonable timeframe.’
MEP Frances Fitzgerald, speaking after a debate today in the European Parliament on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, called on the Irish government to promote Ukraine as a candidate country for EU membership.
“The invasion of Ukraine has unleashed terror on a sovereign, democratic and independent country.
“This is not only a battle for territory; it is a battle for the freedom, ideals and values that Ukraine and the European Union share,” said MEP Fitzgerald.
“The invasion requires Ireland and all member states to show utmost and steadfast support to Ukraine and its people.
“On Monday, Ukrainian President Zelensky submitted an official request for Ukraine to become an EU member country.
“Ireland must take a leading role in the European Council to encourage all Member States to welcome Ukraine as a candidate country.
“There are differing views when it comes to enlargement of the EU.
“But with war on our doorstep, the EU must look beyond these differences and show the highest level of solidarity to the Ukrainian women, men and children that needs us in their darkest hours.
“Ireland has a long history of supporting EU enlargement, and has worked constructively and cooperated meaningfully with our partners in the Western Balkans and in the Eastern Partnership to advance this goal for many years.”
“Considering the changed world we have woken up to in the past week, it now clearer than ever that any country in Europe that shares our European values and ideals of democracy, human rights and the rule of law should be put on a path to membership, and allowed to join the EU within a reasonable timeframe.
“Fine Gael MEPs are on record voting for a strong European Parliament resolution in December calling for measures such as: severe sanctions for Russia, exclusion of Russia from SWIFT and freezing of assets of oligarchs and Putin’s inner circle.
“It is shocking that some Irish MEPs did not support this resolution.
“Fine Gael MEPs will also be today voting in favour of a strong European Parliament resolution against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“It was an honour to welcome President Zelensky to speak before the European Parliament today.
“President Zelensky gave a harrowing account of the terror that has been unleashed in his country.
“He called on Europeans to prove that we are with Ukraine, to prove that life will win over death, and light will win over darkness.
“We must honour this call and stand firm with Ukraine,” concluded MEP Fitzgerald.