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EU Ambassador on future of Ukraine's accession talks

EU Ambassador on future of Ukraine's accession talks EU Ambassador to Ukraine Katarina Mathernova (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Ukraine and the EU have officially begun accession talks. The next step will be a so-called bilateral screening, which will align Ukrainian legislation with EU-wide standards, said EU Ambassador to Ukraine Katarína Mathernová in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

The diplomat explained that June 25, 2024, marked the formal start of negotiations for Ukraine's accession to the EU. This followed the approval of the so-called negotiating frameworks by the 27 member states.

"In Luxembourg, there were two first intergovernmental conferences for Ukraine and Moldova to mark the formal beginning of the negotiations. So after that, the negotiations have been launched, they are opened, and the next step that will follow is the so-called bilateral screening," said Mathernová.

The ambassador added that the bilateral review will meticulously examine the acquis communautaire, the body of EU laws, norms, and regulations, and compare it with Ukrainian legislation to identify gaps and areas that need to be filled. According to her, this process will take several months, after which the first chapters will be launched.

Ukraine and the EU plan to systematically negotiate 35 chapters. Mathernová also said that there are several thematic chapters, such as the environment, financial control, financial markets, and various technical areas.

"In addition to that, there are categories that are part of chapters 23 and 24, which are the factors that deal with the rule of law, democratic governance, anti-corruption, etc. Those are areas that don't have particular acquis communautaire attached to them, but they will be assessed against European standards, the governance system will need to work in the country," said the EU ambassador.


Ukraine officially applied for EU membership at the end of February 2022, following the start of the full-scale war.

Subsequently, Ukraine received candidate status for EU membership. In December 2023, EU leaders decided to start negotiations with Ukraine on membership.

On Tuesday, June 25, 2024, the official negotiations between Ukraine and the EU on accession began. The first intergovernmental conference took place in Luxembourg.