Ukraine has been suffering from Russia’s aggression for almost two years now, and the pressure on its possible membership in the EU and NATO is exponentially increasing. While many EU politicians and experts debate when Ukraine will be accepted into the EU, some voice a more sceptical point of view – is it truly about when or if? Ukraine’s membership would pose a significant challenge for the EU as a whole, as well as for individual member states. The membership would strain the EU’s finances, and Ukraine would become a major net recipient of aid. Ukraine is not called a granary of Europe for no reason, and, as an EU member, it would become the biggest recipient of CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) funding at a cost to the other member states. Ukraine has made clear it wants to be accepted by the EU (and NATO).

On the other hand, there is a growing cloud over the EU on whether the member states will find common ground on EU enlargement. How can we convince EU citizens that accepting Ukraine into the EU is the right thing when, for most of them, it would mean tightening their belts and lowering their living standards? Ukraine would become one of the biggest and poorest member states. Is the EU structurally ready to accept such a challenge?



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