Olivier Dupuis: Ukraine and the need to overcome European illusions

2023-02-02 | Expert publications, EU integration

There are persistent untruths, such as the one according to which a revision of the Treaties would suddenly become indispensable with the forthcoming enlargement of the European Union to include Ukraine, Moldova and the Balkan countries.

This is to overlook the fact that the EU was unable to foresee, let alone prevent, the massive invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation on 24 February last year. With the exception of the United Kingdom, which has since departed, this is the same Union that acknowledged – if not formally 1, at least de facto – the annexation of Crimea and the latent incorporation of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk by the Russian Federation. It is the same union which, impervious to reality, was still dreaming of strategic independence a few months ago. 2

In such a context, the invocation of future enlargements to justify a revision of the Treaties is dangerous in that it risks masking the shortcomings, failings and serious political mistakes of the Union and its current Member States that have combined to make the Ukrainian tragedy possible.

It is therefore necessary to throw the spotlight on the Union’s past mistakes, its shortcomings and failings in the field of foreign, security and defence policy, while also drawing up some lines of inquiry for reforms that the Union and its Member States could undertake.

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