An enlargement, even in a longer time horizon of the European Union by two, four or six states “will have serious consequences for the functioning of the EU, with a risk of paralysis in the absence of institutional change, Dutch historian Luuk van Middelaar stated in an analysis for AFP that was disseminated by the European mass media.
Some analysts fear the repercussions on the security of the EU bloc, given that the conflict at its door could “last for years”, according to NATO warnings, and about 20% of Ukraine’s territory is currently under Russian control.
According to political scientist Hendrik Vos of the Belgian University of Ghent, “it is very difficult to imagine an (EU) enlargement while Ukraine is at war. Before opening accession negotiations, there will have to be a form of conflict resolution. ”
“If Ukraine joins the EU without being a member of NATO, then the risk of a future war between Russia and the EU would increase considerably,” warns Dutch historian Luuk van Middelaar. The former Warsaw Pact states joined NATO first and then the EU, and Finland and Sweden now want to become members of NATO precisely to benefit from the organization’s collective defense clause.
A further enlargement of the EU to the east could also lead to “another balance of power” within the EU, ie it would become more difficult for countries such as France, Germany or Italy to impose their approaches at home within the EU bloc, such as the environment or the rule of law. As Poland and Hungary show, such concerns can be seen very differently in Eastern and Western Europe, notes Hendrik Vos.
According to the quoted sources, on the other hand, the acceptance of the candidacies of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova could offer a new impetus, especially desired by Germany, to the accession of the Western Balkan countries, blocked for years in the EU antechamber or not even received candidate status.
Luuk van Middelaar believes that an enlargement in the absence of institutional change, in especially one that eliminates the rule of unanimity in the adoption of foreign policy decisions of a European Union that would like to assert its geopolitical role on the world stage, risks generating paralysis.
“It is clear that the Union is often silent because it has not been able to find a unanimous position,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday. a binding foreign policy decision should be taken for all Member States with only a qualified majority, ie 15 out of the 27 Member States and comprising at least 65% of the EU population.