Strategic Positioning of the European Union Regarding the War in Ukraine: Between Continuity and Change

Veljko Blagojević ORCID logo
Zoran Karavidić ORCID logo

Published on 16 December 2022

ABSTRACT: The positioning of the European Union in relation to the crisis in Ukraine is a topic that is frequently addressed by theorists of political science and international relations (strategic studies and security in particular), economists, sociologists, historians and, of course, military experts, but also by the political elites at the national level and in European institutions. Since there is a large degree of agreement that the war in Ukraine has great potential to cause vast global geopolitical and geoeconomic consequences, even for the international system as we know it today, it is justified to ask the following question: How has the European Union strategically positioned itself towards this war? The expected answer to the question posed in this way is that – unexpectedly for many – the European Union has taken a unique and “firm” stance towards the aggressor of Ukraine, engaging a wide range of available resources, starting from diplomatic, economic, informational, all the way to the military, including direct aid in weapons and military equipment, training of critical military specialties, as well as training and exercising entire units of the Ukraine’s armed forces. Naturally, this kind of siding with one side in a war conflict inevitably also leads to negative consequences, such as the energy insecurity of the Union, a drop in the economic growth rate, inflation, and the loss of a significant market, rare raw materials and other goods that have traditionally been procured from Russia . The aim of the paper is to review the circumstances determined by long-term processes on the European continent and their impact on the strategic positioning of the European Union in relation to the war in Ukraine .

KEY WORDS: common foreign and security policy of the EU, strategic potential, war in Ukraine, NATO’s open door policy.