July 15, 2024

A senior Ukrainian diplomat and foreign relations expert has described how the EU may change before Ukraine’s accession in an exclusive interview with NV Radio on Nov. 12.

Ruslan Osypenko described how the EU does not have a qualified majority, making decisions through consensus, but indicated that this rule is subject to change.

“I see that according to open sources (I analyze the information that appears), the European Union has started this movement,” Osypenko said.

“First, they understood that the European Union isn’t effective in the new geopolitical conditions that have changed, these geopolitical conditions are changing so quickly that the under-reformed European Union with its rules cannot keep up with these changes.”

Read also: Ukraine’s EU accession path and potential hurdles — expert interview

Osypenko said that Germany had recently gathered all the heads of European think tanks and EU foreign ministers, where they “discussed how to proceed: first expand, and then change the rules, or not change the rules, and then expand [the European Union].”

Another option that was discussed at the German initiative was to change the rules and, in parallel, accept new candidates.

“That is, they realize that it’s necessary to expand and change the rules since the global geopolitical situation has changed,” Osypenko said

“Talks are underway between the lines in the European Union about a “two-tiered”(Europe): there is Europe’s core, the countries of Western Europe, which are locomotives. The new candidates and members who joined recently, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, are in the second tier, let’s say.”

While the Eastern and Central European countries fear a potential decrease in their influence if decisions shift to a qualified majority in the European Parliament, Western Europe worries about the influence of potential new candidates, such as a coalition between Poland and Ukraine.

Read also: Over 60% of Ukrainians believe in EU accession within a decade — survey

“That’s why both Europes, of the first tier and the second tier, have reservations. But they must understand that the EU’s inclusion of Ukraine will, first of all, add impetus to reforms, accelerate them in the European Union, and make it stronger.”

“Now the European Union seems to have woken up and is looking at what is happening around in another way as they understand that it’s necessary to change, to expand because such a window of opportunity amid geopolitical turbulence will eventually close.”

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“Then these gray areas on unprotected borders, when they don’t have border troops and a common military, will pose greater risks than previously thought,” Osypenko said.

On Oct. 31, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced his participation in a conference in Berlin concerning the EU’s future and Ukraine’s accession.

On Nov. 10, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán publicly opposed starting accession negotiations with Ukraine, reiterating Hungary’s firm stance on the matter.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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