On 18 October 2018, Vocal Europe and Science 14 hosted an expert panel to discuss key topics surrounding the Ukraine accession process to the EU and NATO, as well as the implications that EU association holds for a region that is increasingly seen as a geopolitical target by other powerful players.
On July 8, the National Security Law came into force in Ukraine. Ukraine’s integration into the European space, European Union and NATO membership are mentioned by the law as part of the fundamental national interests of Ukraine. It is expected that full implementation of the National Security Law will deepen Ukraine’s Western integration, especially since there has been a significant transformation in public opinion regarding Euro-Atlantic integration.
Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko, has repeatedly stated that Ukraine’s integration to the EU and NATO are the country’s top foreign policy priorities, and they should be included in the constitution. Ukraine’s relationship with the European Union is on a steady track, as the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, and visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens entered into force in 2017. Ukraine and NATO cooperate in a wide range of areas, as part of NATO’s open door policy, reiterated at the latest Brussels Summit. Ukraine’s NATO membership, as always, might face powerful opposition from Russia.
The talks were opened by moderator Ebubekir Isik, Policy Analyst at Vocal Europe and Researcher at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), who welcomed the participants and introduced the topics of the debate.