EU - Candidate Status for Ukraine

Arno Froese

Leaders of the European Union formally approved Ukraine’s candidate status to join the bloc—the first official step toward full membership.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also took to Twitter to declare that “today is a good day for Europe.”

She added that the decision strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, “in the face of Russian imperialism.” The leaders also officially recognized the “European perspective” of Georgia, saying it was moving toward candidate status.

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy visited Kyiv to voice their support for Ukraine’s bid to join the bloc. The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, then said both Ukraine and Moldova were ready to move a step closer to membership, provided they put in place several reforms.

But some EU countries have reservations about reopening the bloc’s doors.

Joining the EU is traditionally a lengthy process, given that potential members have to align their political and judicial systems with those of the bloc. Furthermore, opening the door to one nation could mean opening the door to several others.

A number of nations in the Western Balkans, located in southern and eastern Europe, have long been promised accession to the EU, but negotiations have yet to begin. Kosovo, for example, has been waiting for four years to have visa requirements lifted for travel to the European Union.

EU members Greece, Cyprus and Spain are also among those which do not recognize Kosovo as a sovereign nation, making its potential accession to the EU highly controversial.

Albania and North Macedonia, which changed its name in an effort to bolster its chances of joining the EU, previously received candidate status, but are still waiting for accession negotiations to begin.

-www.cnbc.com, 23 June 2022

Arno's Commentary

In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union assumes that Ukraine’s membership in the EU would somehow miraculously solve the deep-seated controversy between the two countries. Presently, the villain is Russia under the leadership of President Putin. His strategy definitely backfired; it united the EU more than ever.

Russia, the world’s largest country, is religiously divided between 15-20% Russian Orthodox, 10-15% Muslim, and about 2% Christian. Life expectancy is low: 72.4 years, and per capita GDP stands at $26,500 (2020). Ukraine has a population of about 44 million, and about religion, the CIA Factbook states, “Ukraine’s population is overwhelmingly Christian.” Life expectancy stands at 73.5, and per capita GDP is just $12,400. That represents extreme poverty by EU standards. 

WorldPopulationReview.com lists, under most corrupt countries for 2022, Russia as 29th and Ukraine as 32nd (USA is 67th—lower number indicates higher level of corruption). Such and other statistics will cause additional difficulties for Ukraine to attain membership in the world’s most preeminent eco-political club. 

While the news media floods the world with details about this war, wars are actually decreasing. CrisisGroup.org lists ten conflicts to watch in 2022, among which are Ukraine, Haiti, Israel/Arab-Palestinian, Afghanistan, Islamist militants in Africa, Ethiopia, Yemen, Iran vs. US & Israel, Myanmar, and US-China relations. An actual war is only occurring in Ukraine. 

There is one thing we know with certainty, based on Jesus’ end-time prophecies such as Matthew 24 and Luke 21: “ye shall hear of wars and commotions” (verse 9a). History records thousands of wars, so why are wars decreasing? To prepare the atmosphere for the strong man, the world ruler. Daniel describes him, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done” (Daniel 11:36). That is in preparation now. There will be compromises and negotiations, and in the end, the world will finally experience peace, prosperity, and security, albeit temporary.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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