The Russo-Ukraine conflict has certainly reinvigorated the focus on strategic planning within the EU, but this potential shift towards a more favourable outlook for the integration process doesn’t mean that there will be shortcuts for less enthusiastically engaged candidate countries
European enlargement has encountered a standstill over the previous two decades, due both to enlargement fatigue among existing EU member states and differing approaches among the countries of Southeast Europe that don’t always push hard enough for accession. However, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has ignited a renewed focus on strategic accession planning within the EU.
Speaking in a recent address, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined the potential for an expanded EU, particularly in the domains of defence and geopolitics. This shift has prompted lively public debate about the EU’s role in Ukraine, but also its strategic place in the new geopolitical circumstances. This prompted us to ask our interlocutors how they see this sea change.