September 10, 2021

European Parliament members respond to statement by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid


The following statement was released on September 7 by members of the European Parliament who recently visited Ukraine to express support for Ukraine’s European aspiration. The statement was issued to rebuff remarks made by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, who said Ukraine would need to wait 20 years before it could join the European Union.


We, friends of European Ukraine in the European Parliament, want to express our position on the statements recently made by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid on the prospect of Ukraine’s membership of the EU. These statements coincided with our visit to Ukraine on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.

The EU’s enlargement policy has a history of almost five decades, with new countries joining the EU at different times, but the criteria for membership do not change. The new members must be guided by the EU’s political values, by the principles of the single economic market and comply with the EU legal issues.

Ukraine’s aspirations for membership in the European Union in recent years are framed by the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. It is clear that Ukraine will first have to fully implement the Association Agreement, and that is the path to the European Union. This is first and foremost a process of reforms in many areas, and it seems that Ukraine agrees that they are indispensable. These are reforms in the political, legal system, various public and economic areas, based on the well-proven experience and achievements of the EU member states. The fight against corruption in the Ukrainian courts and public administration remains a central task to be overcome.

Ukraine is on the path of reforms, achievements are gratifying and we look forward to further progress. It must be understood that European reforms are needed first and foremost for Ukraine itself and for the well-being of its people.

Understandably, next to reform planning, the question naturally arises – when? When can Ukraine expect full membership in the EU?

An answer on this question largely depends on the aspiring country to choose the best timetable for itself, based on the pace and results of reforms and progress. Of course, there is a race and competition between the aspiring countries, but it is just for the better.

We, Ukraine’s friends in the European Parliament, support Ukraine’s European aspirations and believe that it will make a proper contribution to the project of a united European Union. We believe that we will be in one European project, the timing of which we will decide by working together and in harmony. Our goal is that the next decade of the EU Eastern Partnership policy towards Ukraine be different in substance and achievements.


Petras Auštrevičius,
Renew Europe, Lithuania

Viola von Cramon-Taubadel,
Greens/EFA, Germany

Juozas Olekas, S&D, Lithuania

Ramona Strugariu,
Renew Europe, Romania

Michael Gahler, EPP, Germany