Ukraine Joining the European Union: an Impossible Endeavour? – Keeping an Eye on the Geopolitical Ball

Eye on the Geopolitical Ball

Peace, Security & Defence

Keeping an Eye on the Geopolitical Ball, brought to you by Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow of Friends of Europe and former NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General, provides a weekly overview of the current and emerging crises or threats in security and defence.

Using his past experience as an ex-NATO insider, his in-depth knowledge and insights gained throughout the years, Jamie casts his eye on the state of geopolitics in Europe and across the globe. He brings an independent view and essential insight into a range of conflicts and emerging threats on our shores and further afield.

Keeping an Eye on the Geopolitical Ball is essential viewing for anyone who wants to keep track of events as they unfold.

This week on Keeping an Eye on the Geopolitical Ball, Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe, examines whether Ukraine can realistically become a member of the EU in the foreseeable future. While the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to a wave of goodwill from Europe towards Ukraine, Shea discusses how many EU countries, including France, do not want to put the deepening process of the Union in jeopardy by a premature process of enlargement that would see an unfit, corrupt and divided Ukraine join the European community. In this context, Shea affirms that the EU needs to give a strong political signal by presenting Ukraine with a candidate status, possibly with conditions or a reverse clause allowing the Union to slow the process down if required. Europe should also consider putting all aspirant countries – including Western Balkan states, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – in one group for them to share know-how as to the best way to prepare for EU accession. In addition, certain benefits of the EU, such as its single market, should be opened to Ukraine to give its people a concrete horizon to reach out to. Crucially, Shea asserts that before tackling such bureaucratic and legal issues, the EU must above all help Ukraine now in its war against Russia, mainly with weapons, finance and reconstruction funds.

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