The lingering war in Ukraine: Security implications in Europe
It is difficult to predict the long-term effects of war with certainty, yet it is essential to be aware of the fact that the longer a war continues, the more dire its long-term impact becomes. The era of relative peace and stability in Europe is over, security should no longer be taken for granted. Europe needs to rethink its security at EU, NATO and Member State level. It is also essential to strike the right balance to ensure security at home while providing much-needed support to Ukraine.
It has been nearly a year since Russia started a war against Ukraine in February 2022, leading to the devastation of the country, and has put an end to peace in Europe since World War II. With the rule-based order and security in Europe being endangered, Europe must rebuild its security architecture while at the same time facing a complex green and digital transformation, post-pandemic recovery, high-inflation, an energy crisis. The Central Eastern European region remains in the spotlight given its geopolitical location and economic ties to both Ukraine and Russia.
The war has devastated Ukraine. Indiscriminate attacks are no longer limited to the eastern part of the country and pose a constant threat to civilians, while targeted attacks on the infrastructure, particularly on the energy infrastructure, leave large portions of the population without access to electricity, heat, or water. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s economy is in survival mode, with a damaged agricultural land, destroyed production capacity and reduced labour supply. The country’s economy is estimated to have contracted by 35 percent in 2022; therefore, support from the international community has been crucial to Ukraine.
What lessons should be learned by European countries from the war? And how should they rethink their security on the individual, EU, and NATO level?
Read the policy brief below.
* This policy paper was prepared as part of the Think Visegrad fellowship programme in Brussels.