Taoiseach Micheál Martin welcomes recommendation by the European Commission that Ukraine be granted Candidate Status
17 June 2022
"Today’s recommendation from the European Commission that Ukraine be granted candidate status is historic. If endorsed by the European Council, as I expect that it will, it will place Ukraine on a firm path towards EU membership, where it belongs.
"Every sovereign country has a right to determine its own future, free from external pressure and duress. The people of Ukraine have chosen a future in the European Union and they deserve our full support.
"I have long advocated for this outcome and I will be arguing strongly that it be endorsed by the European Council when it meets next week.
"It will provide a great boost to the people and Government of Ukraine who have stood firm in defence of our shared European values in the face of the most appalling Russian war. I hope that it will give them heart and courage in the weeks and months ahead.
"It is a message that Europe stands with them now, that we will continue to stand with them whatever lies ahead, and that we will be with them as they work to rebuild their country.
"The road to EU membership is complex and challenging. It requires considerable work on the part of the country looking to join. Ireland is ready to walk every step of that journey with Ukraine, providing whatever support and encouragement we can along the way.
"I also welcome the recommendation that Moldova also be offered candidate status, and that Georgia be offered a European perspective and candidate status once a number of priorities have been met.
"I hope that we will also be able to make early progress in the journey of Western Balkan countries towards the EU.
"As I have said before, as we know from our own experience, membership of the EU is transformative. As we mark 50 years of our own membership, we hope that others will be able to benefit from the same peace, prosperity and opportunity."