Granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova has earned the EU praise. But by keeping Western Balkan countries in the waiting room, the union is aggravating the region’s frustrations with Brussels.
The agreement that settled the name dispute between (North) Macedonia and Greece is considered a major success for the EU. European institutions helped resolve a domestic political crisis in Skopje and facilitated the handover of power to a government willing to compromise with Athens.
In this era of geopolitical competition, Europe believes it offers an approach based upon multilateralism and international solidarity. To convince others of this viable alternative, Europe must better understand perceptions in the Global South and improve its own international standing.
Russia’s war against Ukraine shows why NATO and the EU are both essential for European security. The two offer different yet complementary models for organizing the continent’s defense.
Granting Ukraine EU candidate status would send an important signal to its government and citizens. But this must go hand in hand with weapons supplies and support for the country’s reconstruction.
The accession of Western Balkan countries to the EU has stalled due to issues within the union as well as in the region itself. Renewed commitment on both sides is needed to break the current impasse.
Innovative forms of deliberative and participatory democracy from outside the West can inspire reform in European states.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has dramatically altered the security and defense architecture of Europe. It also has the potential to reshape democracy support policies, changing practices of defending and extending democratic values and of interactions with autocratic states.
The war in Ukraine has given impetus to a new round of EU enlargement. Concerns about corruption, stagnation, and democratic backsliding tendencies may hamper the union's response but engagement with Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia must be sustained.
Political wrangling and polarization continue to erode democracy in Georgia. But Tbilisi’s bid for EU membership gives Brussels leverage to help get the country back on track.