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Opinion
Clive Crook

Europe’s New Era Might Not Last Long

Russia’s war on Ukraine has brought EU members together. Its consequences will drive them apart.

Brussels, March 22, 2022. How long will it last?

Brussels, March 22, 2022. How long will it last?

Photographer: VALERIA MONGELLI/AFP

A malevolent expansionary autocracy waging war on its doorstep seems to have cured the European Union of its complacency over self-defense. The pandemic had already underlined the need for closer coordination in other areas. Europe’s politicians are now talking of a new era of cooperation.

Historians will surely record Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a transformative moment — yet what kind of transformation is harder to say. Celebrating Europe’s new unity under pressure might be premature. The demands being placed on the union could strengthen it. Or, in the end, fracture it.