Having doubts about the value of EU enlargement? Look at Estonia!

When Estonia together with nine other countries joined the EU twenty years ago, there was no talk about a geopolitical enlargement. The most important goals of the “big bang” enlargement were to consolidate democracy and enhance prosperity and stability in the so-called post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Their parallel accession to NATO provided them with security guarantees, but the dominant view in the Euro-Atlantic community was that European states did not face any direct military threat.

Read more

No Gain Without Pain: Estonia’s Views on EU Enlargement

In Estonian politics, there is a widespread agreement on the security and prosperity benefits of EU enlargement, particularly regarding Ukraine, but also for other candidate countries. However, nuances exist among different parties regarding the trade-off between the geopolitical argument for enlargement and the potential losses that Estonia might face.

Read more

The Newest Allies: Finland and Sweden in NATO

Sweden’s flag was raised at NATO headquarters at midday on 11 March 2024, ceremonially marking one of the most surprising outcomes of Russia’s war in Ukraine. In the face of Russia’s aggression and the risks it presented to their own security, Finland, which joined NATO in April 2023, and Sweden had abandoned decades-long policies of neutrality and non-alignment to become the Alliance’s 31st and 32nd member states. Our report examines the consequences of these changes, largely from the perspective of the defence of the Baltic states.

Read more
REUTERS / Scanpix

Ukraine’s Path to EU Membership: How to Turn a Geopolitical Necessity into a Viable Process

Ukraine is applying for EU membership at a time when Russia has attacked it in a war of choice. The European Commission is expected to present its opinion on Ukraine’s application in mid-June, to be followed by a decision of the European Council on 23–24 June. While public opinion across the EU has turned largely supportive of membership for Ukraine, official positions remain divided between strong support, mainly in the Eastern member states, and a more reserved position elsewhere.

Read more