The Ukraine of tomorrow is built today: independent and on track to EU accession

Brussels, 24 February 2023


The lives of millions of people have been shaken by the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, exactly one year ago. The time to be shaken is over though, now is the time to build a solid future for Ukraine and for Europe.

We cannot afford to repeat past mistakes, nor to give false hopes. The convinced and reiterated support that the EU offered to Ukraine is commendable but cannot be restricted to the “emergency of the war”. A long-term political strategy is necessary to secure a bright future not only to Ukrainians, but to the whole Eastern Partnership.

“The EU strategy on Ukraine should be built on 3 main pillars: Peace, Enlargement, Reform. Peace for an independant Ukraine, Enlargement to complete our Union and Reform to prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead” says Antonio Argenziano, President of JEF Europe.

Achieving peace needs to be the priority for all European countries, knowing that it cannot be achieved with a short-sighted truce. The Ukrainian peace plan approved by the UN yesterday lays down the road. The EU should pull resources, as it learned during the Covid crisis, to provide faster, larger and more predictable assistance to Ukraine now, and after Russia withdraws its army. The EU has the historical responsibility to ensure peace in the area for good.

We are convinced that the best way to achieve peace and prosperity in Ukraine and in the whole Eastern Partnership is to seriously pursue enlargement. The EU cannot repeat the mistake made in the Western Balkans, where enlargement promises after the war remained empty, contributing to a new escalation of tension in the area. Enlargement towards Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and the Western Balkans needs to be the strategic priority, for the EU to stay true to its values.

Enlargement doesn’t mean waiting for third countries reforms, but proactively reforming the EU at the same time, getting rid of old contradictions that are harming the EU project. Vetoes should be abolished; the role of the Parliament should be stronger, and the European Council can no longer be allowed to block the most important political initiatives of EU institutions.

This is no news: the EU citizens asked for this during the Conference on the Future of Europe, and Ukrainian people, who spent the last year fighting back while suffering through bombing and tragedies, cannot be betrayed.

Ukraine might not be in the EU yet, but Ukraine is Europe. Independent and on track to EU accession: this is how Ukraine should look like in one year.

About JEF Europe

The Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) is a political youth NGO advocating for the creation of a democratic European federation as a guarantee for peace, the rule of law and human rights. JEF Europe promotes true European citizenship, works for the widening and deepening of the European Union and strives for a more just and integrated society on the European continent. Established in 1972, the organisation has more than 10,000 activists organised in over 250 national, regional and local sections in 36 countries. The ideals and aims of JEF Europe are defined in the Manifesto of Ventotene, the Political Platform and resolutions adopted by its statutory bodies.

Previous positions on Ukraine

Antonio Argenziano, President

Young European Federalists

Christelle Savall, Vice President

Young European Federalists