Former European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker criticized the idea of Ukraine entering the EU, saying the nation must eradicate corruption that permeates “all levels” of its society.
From 2014 to 2019, Juncker served as the head of the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive arm. In an interview with the German publication Augsburger Allgemeine, he expressed his displeasure with certain “voices in Europe” telling Ukraine they might join the E.U. right away.
According to Juncker, who served as prime minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013, Ukraine is not prepared for membership in the EU.
“Anyone who has had anything to do with Ukraine knows that this is a country that is corrupt at all levels of society. Despite its efforts, it is not ready for accession; it needs massive internal reform processes,” Juncker said.
“You shouldn’t make false promises to the people in Ukraine who are up to their necks in suffering. I am very angry about some voices in Europe who are telling Ukrainians that they can become members immediately.” he added.
As Ukrainians continue fight Russians, along with many Russian speaking Ukrainians, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has campaigned for Ukraine’s inclusion in organizations like NATO and the European Union.
After awarding Ukraine candidate status in June, the EU is allegedly planning to start discussions about bringing the nation into its 27-country union in December.