ISSN 2674-8053

The Impact of the War in Ukraine on NATO and the European Union

By Karen Laura Feliciano and Laura Cariolin

The Ukrainian War caused profound changes in the countries' relationship with international economic organizations and blocs.. In this context, two situations stand out: that of NATO and the European Union. The entry of new countries generated an intense debate, and destabilized interactions between states, having as one of the protagonists, in both cases, in Turkey. In the context of NATO, the entry of Sweden and Finland into the organization was stopped by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while Ukraine's entry into the European Union was criticized by Turkey, that seeks to enter the block since 1999 (GERMAN WAVE, [s.d.]). Thus, it is clear that the War in Ukraine impacted the expansion of the EU and NATO.

With regard to NATO, Sweden and Finland have officially submitted, in the month of May 2022, applications for membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (OTAN), and with that they showed the intention to reinforce security in the face of a conflict with Russia. An example of this motivation was expressed in the speech of the Prime Minister of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson, who stated that the decision helps to strengthen Swedish security and to create independence from Russia (G1, 2022). In addition, as more countries take sides in favor of the United States and the European Union, Russia is positioning itself more aggressively, promising not to remain neutral in the face of the entry of countries into NATO (CNN Brasil, 2022), which requires compliance with certain rules and the approval of all members.

Besides that, the turkish president, Tayyip Erdogan, opposed the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO. According to CNN (KAURANEN, 2022), this was due to the fact that Turkey believes that Sweden and Finland are home to people linked to the militant group of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. (PKK). Like this, Turkey's position bars new accessions, what, in its turn, other alliance members such as the United States and Germany support. This is because the entry of a new NATO member needs the unanimous approval of the members of the group.. Therefore, for membership to take place, Turkey has imposed conditions on the countries, demanding, mainly, that Finland and Sweden repatriate Turkish nationals considered terrorists by the Turkish government.

due to war, Discussions on Ukraine's entry into the European Union were also encouraged. Among the main motivations for this entry, there is a claim that Ukraine is also part of Europe, taking into account their cultural characteristics, and this idea is reiterated both by the member countries of the European Union and by Ukraine. Ukraine's accession process could take up to 20 years, according to the EU, what is criticized by Ukraine, which insists on an immediate start of the accession process. Although immediate entry seems unlikely, the creation of a European political community to temporarily include the country has been proposed and is more likely, despite the idea being criticized by the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.

A reaction to Ukraine's accession to the European Union came from Turkey, who has been trying to enter the block for more than 20 years. She questions the reasons why the European Union denies her entry, while accepting and supporting Ukraine in a much shorter period (SASSOUNIAN, 2022). not turkish case, EU membership is not possible, at least with the Erdogan government. This is due to the fact that Turkey does not comply with the Copenhagen Criteria — a list of rules that establish how new EU member countries should be. Turkey disobeys the criterion regarding human rights due to its authoritarian government, preventing you from entering the block. Therefore, Turkey must review its policies to have a chance to enter the European Union.

Therefore, it is concluded that the War in Ukraine directly interfered with the expansion of the European Union and NATO. It is also possible to notice the expressive participation of Turkey in both situations, always putting itself in a situation of conflict with other States in order to guarantee its own security. Besides that, It is noticeable that the War in Ukraine has fueled the debate on Ukraine's entry into both NATO and the EU in a favorable way for the country, but in a negative way when analyzing the consequences of this debate, as an intensification of tensions with Russia.


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Center for European Studies and Business
The European Studies and Business Center (NENE) is linked to the Brazilian Center for International Business Studies & Corporate Diplomacy (CBENI) from ESPM-SP. It was created considering the need to stimulate the Brazilian and Latin American academic community to better understand their relations with Europeans, seeking to understand and deepen the Brazil-European Union Strategic Partnership.