Von der Leyen In Kyiv Sounds Optimistic On Ukraine’s EU Accession Talks 

Democratic Security Outlook 2023: 6 November - 12 November 

6 November 2023

The much anticipated EU enlargement report this week looks set to endorse the start of accession negotiations with Ukraine after Commission President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged Kyiv made “impressive” progress meeting EU requirements. 

Upcoming on Visegrad Insight:

  • Vitaly Portnikov explains how the anti-Semitic incidents in Russia are politically useful for the Kremlin and Russian security forces.
  • Dorka Takacsy examines Viktor Orbán’s next political strategy: co-opting “sovereignty”.
  • EVENT Brussels: Will the next EU Agenda save Ukraine and democracy? Click here for more information and to register


  • The EU Commission is expected to publish a much-anticipated report on 8 November on Ukraine’s progress on seven key reform areas required to open its accession negotiations. On 7 November, enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi will meet Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels.
  • Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made a surprise visit to Kyiv, praising Ukraine’s reforms and signalling its accession talks would start soon. 
  • “You have made excellent progress; it is impressive to see, and we will testify to it next week when the commission will present its report on enlargement, ” von der Leyen said.
  • The report will also discuss the accession prospects of Moldova, Western Balkans and Georgia. Von der Leyen toured the capitals of Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, North Macedonia and Kosovo. She warned the leaders of those countries that the absence of reforms would jeopardise their chances of securing accession. As an incentive, she pledged a 6 billion euro investment programme for the region.
  • Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, reiterated that EU enlargement should be accompanied by internal reforms making the governing of the Union more adapted to external challenges.
  • Hi-tech companies experimenting with AI and several governments – including the US, UK and Singapore – signed a voluntary agreement allowing governments to probe the technology for social and security risks.
  • Inflation dropped sharply across CEE in the last two months as part of broader disinflation trends, but in most countries, it remains above the official target rates.


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