EFNI’s briefing on challenges for the EU in the Ukranian conflict context

Antoni Wierzejski, Project Manager at CIR, Piotr Buras, director of the European Council Warsaw office on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and Adam Balcer from the study of Eastern Europe at the Warsaw University participated in a meeting organized by the European Forum for New Ideas at Lewiatan Confederation’s HQ, which was led by Zbigniew Gajewski, EFNI Director. This was the first of a series of three press briefings prior to the forum. Subsequent meetings will be devoted to the perspective of implementing the strategic Europe 2020 programme as well as Europe’s competitiveness. 

The experts spoke on such topics as: What does returning to the hard instruments of security policy in the international arena mean for the future of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU? How to strengthen the energy security of Europe? Where will the trade war with Russia take the EU? They pointed to the important role of Germany in resolving the Ukrainian crisis, stressing, however, that – due to historical factors – the country is not and will not be inclined to refer to the so-called hard power. They emphasized that European countries have different interests and not all give priority to the problems of Ukraine, especially that around the southern border of the continent the situation is also unstable. In the near future, we should expect further tightening of economic sanctions against Russia. The key for the future of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the Union is the question of whether member states will not lack consequence to persevere with sanctions until the situation in Ukraine improves. The experts agreed that the current „stalemate” may be prolonged. They also pointed out that the Ukrainian crisis has wider implications for international politics. The course and nature of the conflict confirm, in fact, that the patterns and principles of the existing international order are trembling.