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Brussels – The member states of the European Union are asking Belgium, as chair of the Council, to do everything possible to start accession negotiations with Ukraine this month.

In December 2023, the EU gave the green light to start membership negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova. Before those talks can be officially launched, a negotiating framework must be established. In the Council, everything is being done to bring together a so-called intergovernmental conference (IGC) where the negotiations can be formally launched this month.

The agenda allows for only one possibility, it is heard: on the margins of the European Council General Affairs, which takes place on June 25 in Luxembourg.

Before the IGC on Ukraine and Moldova can start, a negotiating framework must be on the table, as well as a political declaration on the talks. So far, the ambassadors of the EU member states have not been able to find agreement.

“There is enormous pressure from the member states on Belgium to start the IGC this month,” says a diplomatic source. The fear is that organizing such a conference during the Hungarian presidency of the Council – from July 1 to December 31 – is out of the question. “Starting the talks is important for internal reforms in Ukraine, which can at least be initiated then. Hungary is unlikely to take the initiative, but the process can be picked up again during the Polish EU presidency, starting January 1.”