European Parliament deputy speaker Katarina Barley said Kiev must fully implement EU standards
The EU must not make Ukraine a member state in a rushed manner, European Parliament Vice-President Katarina Barley has said.
"There must be no hasty accessions," Barley to the Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung on Saturday. "Once you're in the EU, you can't be excluded."
She pointed to Hungary, whose conservative government has been accused by Brussels of eroding the rule of law.
"It's all the more important that the criteria for accession, such as institutional stability, a functioning market economy and the rule of law, are fully met," Barley said.
The European Commission recommended on Friday that Ukraine be granted candidate status, the first step on a lengthy path to membership. The decision will be finalized at a meeting next week.
Barley said she supports Ukraine's candidacy but warned against a "loose interpretation" of the EU membership criteria.
She urged "equal treatment" of other countries vying to join the bloc, such as Moldova.
In late February, President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the EU to make Ukraine a member through an expedited procedure, arguing that the country "deserves" to join the bloc.
Kiev applied for membership shortly after Russia launched its military campaign against the country.