The Western Balkans EU accession perspective after the war in Ukraine

This paper argues that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February has fundamentally changed the context in which the European Union’s enlargement policy must be considered and implemented. First, it has shown once again that the EU’s enlargement policy is not a purely technical and bureaucratic policy or process, but also a political one. The decisions to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, and a European perspective to Georgia, were clearly politically motivated rather than a result of thorough technical assessment. Second, it has shown that the EU’s enlargement in its immediate neighbourhood is a geostrategic imperative that requires a greater sense of urgency than it has been given in the last decade.

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