Event/ What role should EU Foreign and Security Policy play in Europe and beyond in the light of the Ukraine war?
On 22 September 2022, the JOINT Project Partners hosted a public gathering in Paris and online. The discussion revolved around one question: what role should EU Foreign and Security Policy play in Europe and beyond in the light of the Ukraine war?
The conversation started with an overview of Ukrainians’ opinions on Ukraine’s war effort by Olexiy Haran, Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA), and a JOINT partner. According to his analysis, 92% of Ukrainians believe in victory, and for 55% of Ukrainians a victory represents the restoration of borders as they were in January 2014, so before the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
Medelina Hendytio, Deputy Executive Director for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, and a JOINT partner, described the conflict from the perspective of the Asia-Pacific, pointing out how several countries opposed the Russian invasion, seeing it as a breach of sovereignty, a concept of considerable importance in the region. She also highlighted though how many countries prefer not to break relations with Russia because they do not want to be enmeshed in what they perceive as a West-Russia conflict.
Why is the EU’s response to the Russian invasion different from past crises? Rosa Balfour, Director of the Carnegie Europe in Brussels, and JOINT Advisory Board member, explained that EU member states have begun to rethink the mechanisms of European integration in more fields. This happened for two reasons. The first is strategic: the political and business establishment in the EU used to Russia as a partner, now Russia is an opponent. The second factor that alters the picture is that the states’ reaction is no longer restricted to foreign and security policy, but, for example in this case, it also regards energy supply.
Finally, regarding the question on whether the EU is becoming more integrated but not more autonomous, Bruno Tertrais, Deputy Director at Fondation Pour La Recherche Stratégique in Paris, took as an example Europe’s reliance on others for energy: the EU has reduced reliance on Russia in this sense, but not on the US. Moreover, the EU should not underestimate the need for robust defense capabilities, just because Russia now appears to be weaker than previously believed.
The discussion concluded with a Q&A session with the audience.