EU Commission President, Von Der Leyen, Visits Zelensky in Kyiv — Prospects of Ukraine’s Membership in the EU

Jakub Ferencik
8 min readNov 18, 2023

Ukraine and Moldova, were granted candidate status in June 2022, which was another historic breakthrough for the integration of European countries on the doorstep of the European Union.

More recently, as a symbolic sign of the EU’s prioritization of Ukraine, amidst international pressures that distract global attention from the country, EU Commission President, Ursula Von Der Leyen, visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

So, I thought I would discuss Ukraine’s prospects of entering the European Union, what Ukraine has to change, and how the process is going since it was given candidate status in June 2022.

“You [Ukrainians] have made excellent progress; it is impressive to see, and we will testify to it next week when the commission will present its report on enlargement, ” von der Leyen said.

Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash

Ursula von der Leyen’s trip was a surprise visit, showing the importance Ukraine has to the EU and the West, despite international attention focusing in on Israel and Palestine in the last month and more now.

The EU’s focus is still very much on Ukraine, despite being aware of the grievous geopolitical ramifications in Israel and Palestine.

After the full-scale invasion, it was true that the majority of both EU and Ukrainian citizens are overwhelmingly in support of membership, but that does not mean that Ukraine’s path toward membership is straightforward or easy.

In recent months, we have in fact seen elections in Europe (such as the Slovakian election) and the growth of the AfD party in Germany, which many have called extremist and even neo-Nazi, that some are distancing themselves in supporting Ukraine’s effort to join the EU.

What critics might not realize is that Ukraine’s inclusion in the EU is years away, despite their heroic efforts and our mutual desire for their membership.

So, in this post, I explain the process of transitioning to an EU member state and compare it with the similar process some other…



Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air,” “Beyond Reason,” & "Surprised by Uncertainty" on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | RA for EUROPEUM Prague | 700+ articles with 1+ mil. views