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European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Erik Jones on the new EU enlargement process and Ukraine’s role

Erik Jones just wrote an article with Laszlo Bruszt on Foreign Affairs describing the challenges, both political and economic, of Ukraine's path to European Union membership.

04 June 2024 | Opinion - Research

Erik Jones in Foreign Affairs on Ukraine’s Perilous Path to EU Membership.

On 30 May 2024, Erik Jones, Director of the Robert Schuman Centre, and Laszlo Bruszt, Director of the Central European University Democracy Institute, published an article on the new enlargement process launched by the European Union.

In the essay issued on Foreign Affairs, the authors affirm that Ukraine is the most prominent of the new candidate countries. However, the list also includes Moldova, Georgia, and much of the Western Balkans. Ukraine needs to meet the EU's criteria for stable democratic institutions, rule of law, human rights, and protection of minorities. The ongoing war with Russia exacerbates these challenges, as the country has been under martial law, which has led to the suspension of elections and raised concerns about democratic backsliding.

In addition, Jones and Bruszt highlight how the problem for the EU is that its enlargement strategy may weaken, or even undermine, the democratic stability it seeks to preserve. Strong democratic coalition support is essential for the new enlargement system, but it requires time. As the authors stated: “Europe needs to accept new members quickly to secure democracy today, but it needs to bring them in slowly to secure democracy and stability in the future."

Find the full article on Foreign Affairs.

Last update: 04 June 2024

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