The Brief — The EU’s new borders – EURACTIV.com
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turned into a kind of Third World War, which will lead to major changes, including new borders in Europe, after which we are not sure that France and Germany will remain the largest and most influential countries in our union.
The gap between France, which says Russia (and Vladimir Putin) should not be humiliated, and a group of countries with Poland at its center, who want the defeat of Russia, should not be taken lightly .
There is much more here than the usual contradiction between hawks and doves in a society or an organization.
Putin’s Russia made many mistakes in starting this war. He united and strengthened NATO, convinced Sweden and Finland that they should join the alliance and inspired Denmark to abandon its EU defense policy.
But something much bigger, less visible, is a real game-changer.
Poland, a country, along with Hungary, often referred to as the black sheep of the EU, for taking liberties with the rule of law, has now gained moral authority for being right in its attitude towards Russia.
Poland has gone to great lengths to provide all kinds of assistance to Ukraine. Never have relations between two European countries blossomed with such magnificence.
There are several post-war settlement scenarios, but all seem to augur a geopolitical rapprochement between Warsaw and Kyiv. We took a bit of liberty in imagining them.
In the worst case, Ukraine would be impoverished of a large part of its territory and the remnants would be incorporated into Poland. Hungary might want a piece, but Viktor Orban will probably end up empty-handed.
In the best-case scenario, Ukraine would retain most of its vast territory.
Faced with the refusal of its accelerated accession to the EU, Ukraine could merge with Poland, which would automatically give it the status of territory of the EU, the former German Democratic Republic having been integrated into Federal Germany in 1990.
For those who will assume a legal problem here, let us recall how negligent the EU has been with its territorial integrity.
In 2004, the whole territory of Cyprus became a member of the EU. The fact that Turkey has de facto control of its northern part does not seem to ruffle Brussels.
The name of the future state is a detail, but it can be assumed that it would contain both the names of Poland and Ukraine for legal and political considerations, so it would not be called Rzeczpospolita, although it would be similar to the first Rzeczpospolita Polska of 1569-1795.
With a population of 80 million and 900,000 km², such a state would have more territory than France or Germany and more population than France.
More importantly, it would be a natural nucleus for a group of like-minded countries, including Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and recently also Slovakia, as well as perhaps Romania, which in turn could continue its own merger project with Moldova.
Bulgaria has not yet decided what role it will play. Still, Romania and Bulgaria, located on the Black Sea, will grow in importance as old Silk Road plans are to be reformatted into a central route via the Caspian and Black Seas.
The balance of power within the EU would logically change, as would the emancipation strategies of the EU vis-à-vis the United States. Unlike France, Poland and its friends attach the greatest importance to the Atlantic relationship.
Although this sketch sounds a lot like political fiction, we are aware that such considerations are present in the minds of EU politicians and diplomats when it comes to making decisions regarding Ukraine.
This could explain why France and Germany are providing aid in dribs and drabs and moving with some caution.
When Putin started this stupid war, he dealt a terrible blow to the two EU powers that are so friendly with Russia. It is not easy to imagine how they could recover.
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Pay attention to…
- Plenary session of the European Parliament.
- Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowksi addresses Monday’s plenary to mark the 60th anniversary of the Common Agricultural Policy.
- Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas meets UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York.
The views are those of the author
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic/Alice Taylor]