The EU has seen enlargement as a technical process of building convergence in norms to the benefit of candidate countries. It has regarded geopolitical considerations as external to this process and incompatible with the imperative of domestic reform. Yet now – more than ever – a union of norms is not only a geopolitical union but also to the benefit of the EU itself. The EU’s response to Russia’s war on the rules-based international order must be to offer a clear European perspective to both the three Eastern applicants and the accession candidates in the Western Balkans.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine on February 24, violating international law, shocked the global community and brought war to Europe – along with fears of a nuclear escalation. Europe and its allies are responding with tough sanctions against Russia in the areas of finance, energy, and technology. In a sudden change of course, the German government has approved arms deliveries that it had previously rejected. While international appeals for a ceasefire are being made to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, one thing is already clear: the European security order as we knew it no longer exists. The German government’s radical U-turn in security and defense policy is only one facet of that.
This dossier provides an overview of DGAP’s diverse expertise and activities on the conflict. See below for statements on current developments, in-depth analyses on how it could have come to this, and recommendations for action to the German government, as well as numerous interviews and high-profile discussion panels.