The enlargement bluff

Ukraine is by no means ready to enter in negotiations with the EU

The die has long been cast. Last week, German Foreign Minister Baerbock announced that Ukraine would join the EU. And at the weekend, Commission President von der Leyen praised the fact that Kiev was „already well over 90 per cent of the way there“; the way was clear for negotiations.

The presentation of the „progress report“ on enlargement, which is expected on November 8, has become a farce. Everyone in Brussels knows that the EU Commission will recommend the start of accession negotiations.

And everyone knows that the strict examination of the accession criteria in Ukraine and Moldova has failed. In June, Enlargement Commissioner Varhelyi declared that Ukraine had only fulfilled two of the seven criteria.

Barely three months later, five more tests are supposed to have been passed – including the fight against corruption, which is endemic according to former Commission President Juncker. That is hardly possible and even less credible.

Brussels will present a courtesy certificate, as it did with the 2022 candidate status. Ukraine does not even fulfil the basics: standing on its own two feet economically and financially – it is dependent on the EU!

In the meantime, not even military success is certain. Brussels wants to recommend accession negotiations with a country that is partially occupied and where nobody knows what its future borders will look like. An absurdity.

But the bluff has to be called – to keep the Ukrainians in line and motivate them to make new sacrifices. It is also necessary in order to keep the EU together – enlargement has become the „raison d’être“ of the union. This is called geopolitics.

The „geopolitical EU“, however, is the biggest bluff. With Ukraine and Moldova, EUrope will not become stronger, but weaker. The citizens will be worse off afterwards, not better.

The EU has bad cards in the double war against Russia – militarily and economically. That is why it is resorting to bluffing. A risky manoeuvre so close to the European elections…

The original post (in German) is here. You can subcribe to English updates here (Substack)