The European Parliament on Tuesday agreed to accept Ukraine’s application for a member of the union after the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky filed an application earlier that day and asked for a fast-track process.
Being a member of the EU would allow Ukrainians to move freely between the other 27 member nations, which could help its people fleeing the country amid Russian invasion.
637 parliament members voted in Ukraine’s favor, while 13 voted no and 26 abstained, according to Reuters.
However, a nation cannot become an EU member in just a few months, said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. After the European Council approves a nation’s application, it must agree on a framework for negotiations. Generally, joining the EU is a long process, as the applied nation has to satisfy a series of conditions called the “Copenhagen criteria.”