Europe: Ukraine can’t wait

Ukraine does not have time to wait. « We have a very ambitious plan to join the European Union in the next two years », even assures its Prime Minister Denys Chmyhal to the Politico media. Two years ? No one familiar with European issues can believe it, as the road to full and complete membership is proving long and laborious. And yet, there is urgency.

Urgency to offer a political response to Ukraine at war, both from the EU and from the Atlantic Alliance. The European Political Confederation proposed by France is undoubtedly a good idea, but it does not seem to be up to the challenge.

Europe will have to invent a formula for Ukraine to join, quickly and officially, the family of democracies, without requiring it to first adapt its trade legislation, its environmental rules or its health standards to the requirements of Brussels. The issue of corruption is obviously the most sensitive. In this respect, kyiv sends positive signals, by dismissing, almost under the bombs, leading political and administrative leaders, caught red-handed. Are all EU Member States exemplary in terms of the rule of law and corruption? The visit to kyiv on Thursday of a dozen senior EU officials, including Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, is a welcome initiative, but insufficient.

The paragon of diplomatic realism, Henry Kissinger, believes that we can no longer do as before, as usual. During the Davos forum, he thus deemed it “appropriate” for Ukraine to join NATO, as part of a settlement of the conflict. We are not there, but we must dare to act “outside the frame” – “Out of the box”.

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