Bert Koenders on the War in Ukraine and the Future of Europe

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has marked a watershed for Europe. The European Union (EU) and its member states acted quickly to implement sanctions against Russia, bolster Ukrainian defences and improve their own energy security. Now, over a year later, with no end in sight to the fighting, EU members and their allies and partners are faced with new challenges as they strive to ensure their policies are sustainable and start thinking about how best to define and ensure their security into the future. 

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson talk with Bert Koenders, former Dutch minister of foreign affairs and current Crisis Group trustee, about how the war in Ukraine has changed Europe, how the EU has faced the challenges created by the war and the future of Europe’s security architecture. They take stock of the EU’s response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and discuss European solidarity in support of Ukraine among its member states. They also evaluate how the EU might need to adapt its policies and internal structure to better address not just continuing war in Ukraine, but also future crises. Finally, they touch on how Europe’s security architecture might change, prospects for European strategic autonomy and, relatedly, whether the U.S. will remain a reliable partner. 

For more on the topics discussed in this episode, make sure to check out our Ukraine page and our EU Watch List.

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