By granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova and by recommitting to the EU membership of the Western Balkans, the European Union opened a new phase of its enlargement which will redesign the European political map again. It was undoubtedly the right decision to assert European sovereignty and also to welcome an embattled country which is showing with bravery that it belongs to the European future and not to a war of the past. A war of the past in Europe because it combines the clash of empires of WW I with the clash of political regimes of WW II. The future in Europe is being created by the values of freedom, equality, solidarity, democracy and sustainability and by a process of European integration which involves enlargement but also deepening. Deepening is a pre-condition for successful enlargement. But as enlargement has now become a political and moral imperative, the issue today is not about choosing between one or another. It is rather about how to make both with a new approach.
The war in Ukraine has exposed different views on sanctions against Russia by Serbia, and the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the one side, and other Western Balkan states and entities on the other. The EU should handle the issue cautiously, to avoid further splits and to prevent securitisation of the issue.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the security map of northern Europe was redrawn. Within the space of two months, Sweden and Finland have jointly decided to apply for NATO membership, thereby abandoning their previous longstanding security doctrine of military neutrality.
Western economic sanctions on Russia have worked as a substitute for war. But they also might provoke a xenophobic backlash. Given the destruction that has taken place, and what is at stake in the war, we need to shift our focus, speculate about the different ways in which this war can end, and the strategies […]
At Hungary’s elections last Sunday the worst-case scenario came about. The Orbán regime not only survived but also received a two-thirds constitution-making supermajority again. This is a very bad news not only for Hungary, but also for the European Union since Viktor Orbán’s regime will continue its troublemaker role and will disrupt European integration both […]
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is a real tragedy that will permanently upset international relations and brutally call into question many of our approaches. But let’s be clear: President Vladimir Putin’s brutality comes from afar. And for a possible future solution to the conflict, the EU must be around the table. For my part, […]