The Future of Ukraine in the EU

Date & Time Nov 09 2023 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
José Manuel Durão Barroso
Oksana Nesterenko
Mitchell Orenstein
Matti Maasikas
Milada Anna Vachudova
John Morijn
Helene Holm-Pedersen '93
Audience By Invitation Only

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine launched in February 2022 has accelerated Ukraine’s integration with Europe and the West. One such major acceleration has been the granting of candidate status to Ukraine by the European Union (EU) in June 2022. This was a strong signal of solidarity and hope sent by the EU to Ukraine, but the road to membership will be a long and arduous one. Deep reforms must be fully implemented before the opening of formal EU accession negotiations, including reform of the judiciary, fight against corruption, freedom of the press, and legislation on minorities. Then Ukraine will need to fully incorporate the acquis communautaire. Inside Ukraine, there is, for the moment, an overall social and political consensus in support of EU membership, seen as a chance to transform the country and rebuild it differently from what it was before the war. Yet it is unclear whether this can be translated easily into actual compliance with the acquis. Outside of Ukraine, moreover, there are many hurdles and pitfalls to the prospect of EU membership, including Russia’s campaign in the EU sowing doubts about the desirability of Ukraine’s accession, other candidate countries ‘s perceptions that Ukraine is jumping the EU accession queue, and standard technocratic and political concerns about admitting a country that may not be ready—something that has led to “enlargement fatigue” in the past. 

This two-day conference, scheduled for November 8 and 9, 2023 in Princeton, assembles scholars and policymakers to analyze the internal and external hurdles to membership, possible timetables for Ukraine’s accession, the various scenarios for postwar Ukraine inside or outside the EU, and the broader implications for Europe, Russia and the West. 


The conference will present speakers grouped into three main thematic panels.

  1. Ukraine’s journey to the EU
  2. Impact of Ukraine’s accession on the EU
  3. Impact of Ukraine’s accession beyond the EU

Detailed conference agenda to be announced soon.

By invitation only. Please contact for further information.

EU faces 'divisive' reforms to integrate with Ukraine, Barroso warns (Financial Times, September 24, 2023)


  • Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination
  • European Union Program at Princeton
  • Contemporary European Politics & Society