December 5, 2023

Seminar on the potential impact of Ukraine’s EU accession

The EU is once again embarking on a demanding process of widening and deepening. The geopolitical significance of the next enlargement is bigger than ever. With Russia’s war against Ukraine continuing, a credible path to Ukraine’s EU accession is an essential part of restoring peace and building sustainable stability in the whole of Europe. The strategic task of enlargement also requires the EU to undertake internal reforms. The International Centre for Defence and Security is organising a seminar on the future of Europe and the potential impact of Ukraine’s EU accession on Thursday, 7th December 2023 at 10:00-11:30.

This seminar will explore the following questions:

  • What internal reforms are required for the EU to enlarge? –
  • How to build consensus among member states on the parallel processes of deepening and widening? –
  • What will be the potential impact of Ukraine’s accession on the EU and Estonia?


Jim Cloos is a high-ranking European official of longstanding esteem. Having taken on a key role in drafting the Maastricht Treaty during the Luxembourgish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 1991, Mr Cloos has intricate expertise on EU Affairs and the internal functioning of the European institutions. In the 1990s, he served at the European Commission, first as Head of the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Agriculture and subsequently as Head of Cabinet to the President of the European Commission and his G7/8 Sherpa. Mr Cloos has been a close collaborator of High Representative Javier Solana in shaping the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. For many years, he played a key role in preparing European Council meetings. Before his election as TEPSA Secretary-General, he served as Deputy Director General for General and Institutional Policy at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.

Dr Steven Blockmans is a senior fellow at CEPS (Brussels) and ICDS (Tallinn), visiting professor at the College of Europe (Bruges & Natolin), and editor-in-chief of the European Foreign Affairs Review. He is a frequent commentator on EU affairs at major media outlets and regularly briefs senior policy practitioners from the European Union, its member states and G20 country governments. He has testified at the foreign affairs and international trade committees of the European Parliament and the UK House of Commons. He was also a member of a track 1,5 process between the EU and Russia. He is the author of Tough Love: the EU’s relations with the Western Balkans (Asser Press 2007) and The Obsolescence of the European Neighbourhood Policy (Rowman & Littlefield 2017). He was a long-term expert on legal approximation in the framework of an EU-sponsored project in support of the Ministry of European Integration of Albania.

Klen Jäärats is the Prime Minister´s EU Sherpa and Director of the EU Secretariat, Government Office of Estonia. Before focusing on accession to the EU, he led the work of the Ministry of Interior on talks over Chapter 24 “Justice and Home Affairs” and Estonia´s accession to the Schengen area and later established the Refugees Department at the Citizenship and Migration Board. After Estonia’s Accession to the EU, he served two terms as a diplomat in Brussels at the Estonian Permanent Representation to the EU (2004-10) where he worked on justice and home affairs and as an Antici, which involved the preparatory work over the Lisbon Treaty. After moving back to Estonia in 2010, he started working in the Government Office, which included the Estonian EU Council Presidency of the EU in 2017 and the establishment of the Tallinn Digital Summit. He studied law at the Institute of Law of Tartu University and holds an MSc in digital transformation of enterprises from TalTech.

Moderator: Dr Kristi Raik, Deputy Director of the ICDS.

This seminar is by invitation only. If you have interest in participating, please write to [email protected].

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