EU to replace Helsinki Act after Ukraine joins – Borrell

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the security map that was built after the Helsinki Act will be adjusted after Ukraine’s entry into the EU.

  • European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell talks to the media as he arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Luxembourg, on Monday, October 17, 2022 (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell the European Union is moving forward to reform the ‘geopolitical map’ of the Union which was established in the 1975 Helsinki Accords after accepting Ukraine as a member state.

“We have given Ukraine the status of a candidate country, Ukraine will have a place within Europe, and this will change the geopolitical map of Europe, and we want to be able to define a new security structure in Europe to replace the structure of the Helsinki Accords,” Borrell said while addressing the Paris Peace Forum on Friday.

Read more: Ukraine’s EU membership could take decades: Macron

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed an application for EU membership on February 28, days after the start of the war in Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised Zelensky that her country’s accession to the European Union would be accelerated.

The European Commission has said it can only negotiate with potential candidate countries if it has a mandate from the 27 EU member states, which Ukraine has not received.

Read more: Ukraine and Moldova are candidates for the EU

Despite der Leyen’s insistence that Ukraine be fast-tracked into the European Union, Austrian European Affairs Minister Karoline Edtstadler said the process would take more than a decade.

However, the EU later rejected Ukraine’s application for immediate EU membership.

The European Commission weighs everything when assessing a country’s application for membership, from economic performance to the legal system, environmental and agricultural practices, which can take decades. Turkey, for example, has been a candidate country since 1999.

Both Germany and the Netherlands have said that accelerating Ukraine’s membership is not something that can be accelerated.

The Helsinki Final Act was concluded in 1975 between 35 countries, including the Soviet Union and the United States.

The law established the principles of relational security between European states, respecting territorial integrity and preventing interference in internal affairs between signatory members, among others.

Read more: Republicans’ decision to cut aid if they win election ‘shocks’ Ukraine

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