EU Leaders to Convene on Ukraine

EU Leaders to Convene on Ukraine
Photo: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron will convene EU leaders at Versailles today and tomorrow to discuss the war in Ukraine, as well as changes to European defense policy.

Fifteen days after the invasion of Ukraine, the EU will debate further responses to Russian aggression. To date, the EU has imposed harsh sanctions on Russia, targeting finance, energy, transportation and technology sectors and restricting Russian access to European capital and financial markets.

Expect reaffirmed condemnation of the Russian invasion, with potential resistance from countries like Hungary who aim to take a neutral stance in the conflict. The main point of contention concerns how sanctions will affect European economies and whether the EU should sacrifice its own prosperity to support Ukraine.

Similarly, expect deliberations over Ukraine’s recent appeal for EU admission. President Volodymyr Zelensky implored leaders to expedite EU membership under a new fast-track procedure. It is unlikely that the EU will approve Ukrainian membership however, especially as the country does not meet the Copenhagen criteria needed for admission and other candidates have awaited membership for decades. The role that Ukraine plays in assuring European territorial integrity and regional peace is a major sticking point in the debate.

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