As Ukraine is in the midst of a Russian invasion, more and more voices in Europe call for the further integration of Ukraine into the EU. President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen now says that Ukraine belongs to Europe and that Europe wants Ukraine in.
Just after the EU made the decision to export arms to Ukraine, Ursula Von Der Leyen was interviewed by Euronews where she stated that: “Ukraine is one of us and we want them in the European Union”. Ukrainian president Zelensky has been asking the EU for a ‘rapid accession’ procedure to join the bloc and continues to show Ukraines’s support of NATO but the EU shows no will to quickly grant Ukraine a memberstate position. Von Der Leyen states: “We have a process with Ukraine that is, for example, integrating the Ukrainian market into the single market” and “We have very close cooperation on the energy grid, for example”.
Although Ukraine joining the EU might still take a decent amount of time, the European Union has never been stronger than now. Putin’s war on Europe’s doorstep has awakened all 27 member states and for the first time in history the European Union will send arms as one political entity while almost all member states are increasing their militarily budget to at least achieve the 2% threshold dictated by NATO agreements. Germany has just announced 100 billion euros in military spending and plans to spend 2% of it’s GDP (gross domestic product) more every year which well make Germany the third biggest military after the United States and China. The German Chancellor Olaf Sholz also commented on the roadmap towards EU militairy independence: “It’s so important to me that we build the next generation of fighter jets and tanks here in Europe together with European partners — and France in particular,” and “Until the aircraft are ready for use, we will jointly develop the Eurofighter.” Also contracts for a ‘Eurodrone-project’, a cooperation between Germany, France, Italy and Spain, were signed last week. Weter an EU army is coming sooner than later is still a question. But the European bloc has found new comradery and a sense of urge thanks to Putin’s war. Shifts in geopolitical power and influence on at least the European continent is bound to leave a new world.