Publication details

French attitude to Ukraine’s EU membership : from indifference through securitisation to alternatives



Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Contemporary European Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords France; Ukraine; EU; European political community; enlargement
Description After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, EU enlargement rebounded from the sidelines to take centre stage in the European debate. The overall support of the EU towards Kyiv was framed by a sudden moral imperative to help Ukraine enter the EU even though it had been stuck in the perpetual waiting room of Eastern Partnership for quite some time. France repeatedly attempted to form a pan-European body and created the European Political Community (EPC), allegedly intended primarily to help Ukraine. However, France has had an ambiguous attitude to EU enlargement which is domestically a politically sensitive topic. We examined to what extent a rationalist or securitisation-driven stance to EU enlargement prevails in France. To do so, an analysis of the geopolitical ambitions of France in Central and Eastern Europe together with its pan-European projects such as EPC was carried out. Our analysis proves that despite all the political statements of support for the EU candidate states, the French ruling elite and society do not favour enlargement. Potential member states are securitised in the political discourse and potential cons of their entry are emphasised. Moreover, French president Emmanuel Macron openly stated he expects the accession process of Ukraine would take decades.
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