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EU may allow Ukraine eased entry into bloc

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Semafor Signals

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Insights from AFP, Politico, and Bruegel

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will propose changes on Wednesday to how the European Union adds new members, Politico reported. The change would see member states eased into the bloc and given some benefits of membership before officially joining the EU, a move that could offer Ukraine — as well as fellow candidate nations Moldova, and countries in the Western Balkans — some perks while they make reforms to their economies and governance structures to align with EU standards.

SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today’s biggest stories.

EU plan to limit Ukrainian grain imports fails

Sources:  AFP, Politico

A plan to limit grain imports from Ukraine failed Wednesday, as European ambassadors asked for additional time to review its impacts. The plan aimed to address backlash from European farmers who say they are being undercut by low-cost shipments. Tariffs on Ukrainian grain were dropped after Russia’s 2022 invasion in a bid to prop up Ukraine’s economy. The frustration of farmers, however, has meant that Ukraine is seeing worse ties with some nations — something that signals Russia might be winning its grain war, Politico noted. Moscow has deliberately flooded the market with grain, driving prices down globally. “It’s absolutely the case that Russia is using its food exports, particularly wheat exports, as a form of soft power,” Caitlin Welsh, director of the Global Food and Water Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the outlet.

Analysts see Ukrainian accession as positive for EU economic growth

Source:  Bruegel

Ukraine’s possible accession to the EU is a winning scenario for both Kyiv and Brussels, with the EU gaining some economic power at a low cost to existing bloc members. “Both Ukraine and the EU would benefit from progressive integration of the country into EU policies, alongside the formal accession negotiations,” analysts at the European economics think tank Bruegel wrote this month. If Ukraine was granted EU membership, it would cost bloc members about 0.13% of annual EU GDP to sustain — money that would be recouped by the economic benefit of having Ukraine in the bloc, the authors argued. For Ukraine, meanwhile, meeting accession criteria “may raise the country from being one of the poorest governance performers among former socialist countries to a well-governed one.”

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