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On 23 June, EU leaders converged to throw their unanimous support behind the candidacy for EU membership of Ukraine and Moldova and acknowledge the eligibility of Georgia. This historic decision was made just over 100 days after Russia invaded its sovereign neighbour Ukraine, unleashing the most deadly military campaign and creating the largest outflow of refugees on European soil since World War II. This crisis is the test that the EU was made to handle. Still, the path to EU membership is long and fraught. This moment and these new candidates present the EU with an opportunity to reform, redefine and recreate itself to meet the new challenges that lay ahead, conceptualise joint foreign and security policy and carve out its place as a geopolitical actor in its own neighbourhood and beyond.

© The Author(s) 2022

Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Open Access funding provided by ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

DOI: 10.1007/s10272-022-1062-5

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