The EU Accession Process Is Full of Risk—for Everyone Involved

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference at EU headquarters, Brussels, June 17, 2022 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference at EU headquarters, Brussels, June 17, 2022 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).
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In the days before Ukraine’s European Union candidate status was confirmed on June 23, a satirical clip from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s previous career as a comic actor began to circulate on social media. In a scene from the television series “Servant of the People”—in which Zelenskyy played a schoolteacher who accidentally becomes Ukrainian president, not long before Zelenskyy himself became president in real life—he takes a call from then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel. After initially congratulating Zelenskyy’s character for Ukraine’s accession to the EU, Merkel—who remains an off-screen voice heard only through the phone—suddenly apologizes, realizing she’s made an error: […]

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