The day after – Towards a Greater European Council?

Authors:Ulrich Schneckener, Sebastian Schäffer
Date:24 June 2022
Document type:Policy reports

In a historic decision, the European Council granted candidate status to Ukraine and
Moldova on 23–24 June 2022 and followed the recommendations given by the European
Commission. In particular, Ukraine’s application (28 February 2022) and swift return of
the EU’s questionnaires (17 April and 9 May 2022) under dramatic war conditions exerted
considerable political and moral pressure on the Brussels institutions to change its policies
and routine procedures. Granting candidate status is an important political symbol and
sends a strong signal of solidarity to the Ukrainian and Moldovan peoples. By the same
token, the EU also encourages its own populations and politicians to continue supporting
Ukrainian resistance against Russia’s aggression. However, the EU’s decision can only be
seen as the first step in providing the necessary answers to the changing geopolitical and
security environment. So, what comes next? Reflecting on different proposals made by
the French President Emmanuel Macron and others, we explore the concept of a Greater
European Council (GEC) as a new way forward.

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