20 June 2022
How will EU leaders respond to these aspirations to join? Some, led by Poland and the Baltic states, have urged the EU since the beginning of the Russian invasion to welcome the Ukrainian application. [...] It is to grant candidate status and to open accession talks now, and in addition to offer the following: All candidate countries that meet the criteria to join the EU, including respect for human rights and the rule of law, should gain full access to the four freedoms – freedom of movement for goods, people, services and capital – and to the European Single Market. [...] However, once the Commission confirms that a candidate has met these conditions, the Council should offer full access to the Single Market and the four freedoms, and negotiate a treaty similar to the already-existing EU-Western Balkans Transport Community Treaty: a European Economic Community II (EEC), centered around the four freedoms as a framework. [...] www.esiweb.org 10 This is a view of the past, present and future of Europe that casts the darkest shadow over Ukraine, and over the region between Germany and Russia that the historian Timothy Snyder has called the bloodlands. [...] Without the EEA Agreement, and the process leading up to it – the best European Integration School that I can think of – we would not have been able to conclude our accession negotiations so easily and rapidly as was the case.” A moment for leadership The present moment in European history calls for the practical imagination of a Jacques Delors.