In every crisis an opportunity? European Union integration in defence and the War on Ukraine


Russia’s war on Ukraine has upended the European security order. Ukraine has requested EU membership, unprecedented sanctions have been imposed on Russia, European countries have shipped weapons and munitions to Ukraine and NATO has shored up its military presence. Despite such action, is it possible to speak of a transformative moment or ‘Zeitenwende’ for EU security and defence? This article analyses the state of EU integration in defence since the war on Ukraine. Drawing on hypotheses developed under ‘new intergovernmentalism’, this article analyses how EU Member State preferences in defence and intergovernmental-supranational dynamics are being shaped by the war. In particular, the article probes how supranational and intergovernmental institutions have reacted to the war and how domestic preferences have fed into recent EU defence efforts. In doing so, the article provides a preliminary assessment of the state of EU integration in defence since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.