The War Has Already Changed the Bases of the European Project

Ivan Krastev — The war in Ukraine has already changed Europe

28 June 2022

‘Hungary has basically buried the Visegrad Group. Who would want to be in the same group with Mr Orbán? The feeling of European unity is intensifying, but Central and Eastern Europe is increasingly divided,’ says Bulgarian intellectual Ivan Krastev.

At the Globsec security conference in early June, we talked about the following topics surrounding the war: 

  • whether it is fair to criticise Germany and France for their stance on the war in Ukraine;
  • whether the Baltic countries and Poland are the new leaders of the European Union;
  • why Poles are helping Ukrainian refugees, having previously rejected Syrians;
  • how US foreign policy would change if Donald Trump became the new President.

In an interview with the New York Times, you discussed how Europe will change after the Russian attack on Ukraine. You said that too often we ask what will happen in the future. In the meantime, however, we are not focused on what has happened already.

Many things that we long took for granted have changed in the last hundred days. Most Europeans were confident that a great war was unrealistic. Sure, some feared that smaller conflict would arise, but a conventional war between two states in the style of World War II was out of the question.

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