Project Post-Doc Maryna Rabinovych participates in the Keynote Roundtable in Reykjavik

Maryna Rabinovych at the Roundtable

Between 27 and 29 June 2023, Project Post-Doc Maryna Rabinovych took part in the 29th International Conference of Europeanists, organized by the Council of the European Studies in Reykjavik, Iceland. Except for presenting the project work-in-progress, Maryna was invited to contribute to the Keynote Roundtable “Ukraine’s Past, Present, and Future: Utopias and Dystopias” with her insights into Ukraine’s relations with the EU and NATO. Other Roundtable participants were Prof. Milada Anna Vachudova (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill), Prof. Jón Ólafsson (University of Iceland) and Marina Shevtsova (KU Leuven and the University of Ljubljana), and it was moderated by the journalist and practitioner Urður Gunnarsdottir.

Following brief introductory contributions, roundtable participants were asked to reflect on utopias and dystopias in Ukraine’s past, present and future, especially in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. They also got numerous questions from the audience pertaining, inter alia, to Ukraine’s European integration, the candidate country status and the prospect of enlargement negotiations.

Acting Ambassador of Ukraine in Norway Dr. Liliia Honcharevych Gave a Keynote at the Project Book Workshop at the University of Agder

On 8 June 2023 Dr. Liliia Honcharevych, Acting Ambassador of Ukraine (Chargé d`affaires) in the Kingdom of Norway, gave a keynote address at the book workshop “Ukraine: A New EU Member State? From “Integration without Membership” to “Integration through War”, held at the University of Agder. The workshop was organized under the project “Lowering the Bar? Compliance Negotiations and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement” funded by the Research Council of Norway (2021-2024).

In her keynote address, Dr. Honcharevych zoomed in on the state-of-play and challenges of Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration and post-war rebuilding. She made a special emphasis on the role of Norway and the Norwegian-Ukrainian bilateral cooperation in these respects, for instance, through Norway’s multiannual Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine. The Acting Ambassador and workshop participants also discussed the ways Norway can potentially contribute to addressing Ukraine’s most urgent needs, such as those, stemming from Russia’s destruction of the Kakhovka dam  on 6 June 2023. This issue was overtaken at Dr. Honcharevych’s subsequent meeting with UiA colleagues from the Centre for Integrated Emergency Management.

Project book workshop held at the University of Agder

On 8-9 June, the University of Agder hosted an international workshop, titled “Ukraine: A New EU Member State? From “Integration without Membership” to “Integration through War”. The Project Team organized the workshop as a step towards preparing the eponymous edited volume to be published with an international publishing house.

The aim of the workshop and the prospective book is to take stock of the dynamics of Ukraine’s thorny European integration path and addresses key challenges stemming from Ukraine’s unique situation of acquiring EU candidate country status amid the war with Russia. Thus, in their presentations workshop participants addressed an array of intriguing questions, such as: How can the reconstruction of Ukraine be coupled with EU accession negotiations? What can be done to avoid the accession negotiations with Ukraine to last decades like those with Turkey or the Western Balkans? How can the EU and Ukraine cooperate to strengthen regional security amid Russia’s assertiveness? In doing so, presenters brought together political science and legal perspectives, single-case, comparative and large-n research designs, and knowledge from different areas, including democratization, human rights, trade, environment and education.

As a follow-up to the workshop, the Project Team is currently consolidating individual feedback to presenters, who will continue working on their contributions in summer 2023. Detailed account of presenters and their contributions is available in the attached programme.

Project Post-Doc Maryna Rabinovych Gives a Talk at Odesa National University


On 11 May 2023, Project Post-Doc Maryna Rabinovych gave an online talk, titled “EU geopolitical awakening: progress and challenges”, for bachelor students of the Law and Economics Faculty of the Odesa National University in Ukraine. The talk explained the concept of EU geopolitical awakening and its reflections in various EU policies, also with an account of the implications of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Furthermore, Maryna zoomed in on various challenges, encountered by the EU’s geopolitical awakening, such as the complexity of decision-making procedures in EU foreign policies, third countries’ influence and difficulties to achieve coherence between the EU policy objectives in various domains. Examples from trade and security policies were utilized to demonstrate how challenging it may be for the Union to reconcile various policy objectives. The talk was followed by questions from the audience.

Project Post-Doctoral Researcher Maryna Rabinovych contributes to the Democracy Week in Kristiansand

The Ukrainian lecturer Fedir Shandor giving the lecture while at military service. Source: BBC,

On 3 May 2023, project post-doc Maryna Rabinovych gave a talk, titled “Education and resistance: Ukrainian universities at war” at the event “Higher Education and Preserving Democracy” in terms of the Democracy Week in Kristiansand. Democracy Week is organized in Kristiansand on a yearly basis in connection with the Europe Conference in Kristiansand on the Europe Day on 5 March. This year many events of the Democracy week explore negative implications Russia’s war against Ukraine has had for democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine and Europe, more broadly, and the ways European governments and civil society can address them.

In her talk, Maryna explained the challenges Ukrainian students, lecturers and researchers face at the government-controlled territories of Ukraine, the territories, currently occupied by Russia, as well as in European countries. She also gave an overview of various international and European initiatives, aimed at helping Ukrainian students and academics such as the Scholars at Risk initiative and the “Invisible University for Ukraine” initiative by the Central European University (CEU), and their significance for sustaining democracy in Ukraine and Europe. The talk was well-received by the audience, and the presenter got numerous questions regarding the structure and operation of Ukrainian universities at the wartime.

Opinion piece on the anniversary of Russia’s war against Ukraine out with Aftenposten

Project Team Dr. Maryna Rabinovych and Dr. Anne Pintsch published an opinion piece “Europe must support a quick Ukraine’s victory” with Aftenposten, Norway’s largest printed newspaper. The text of the opinion piece was also republished at the website of the University of Agder.

The opinion piece argues that the European Union, its Member States and like-minded partners, such as Norway, shall support Ukraine’s quick victory for two intertwined reasons. First, trench war with little advancements from both sides and continuing occupation of around 16% of Ukrainian territory gives Putin hope. He may hope that democratic countries will be tired of supporting Ukraine, and Russia will eventually get some territorial advancements following the war. Ukraine’s quick victory, on the contrary, will signify a victory of democratic forces and give a strong impetus to European and Euro-Atlantic cooperation.

Project Team publishes an analytical piece on the EU’s actorness one year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Dr. Anne Pintsch and Dr. Maryna Rabinovych are out with the piece “Geopolitical and Technocratic: EU International Actorness and Russia’s War Against Ukraine”, published with the “European Issues” (Foundation Robert Schuman).

The contribution explores EU’s pre-war and wartime policies vis-à-vis Ukraine and other Eastern Neighbourhood countries, aiming to delimit the essentials for the EU’s role in the region after the war. Using numerous policy- and sector-specific examples, the analysis stresses the importance for the EU to back its geopolitical aspirations with technocratic policy solutions in the Neighbourhood.

Project Team publishes a new article with International Spectator


Dr. Maryna Rabinovych and Dr. Anne Pintsch are out with the article “Sustainable Development: A Common Denominator for the EU’s Policy towards the Eastern Partnership”, published recently with the International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs.

Using document analysis with a focus on region-level documents and the cases of Ukraine and Azerbaijan, the article demonstrates the EU’s tendency to shift from an emphasis on European integration and common values to the sustainable development concept. This tendency can be seen as the EU’s response to the challenge of the heterogeneity of the Eastern Partnership countries’ cultures, political regimes and foreign policy aspirations, persisting since the 2004 enlargement. With respect to this tendency, the article stresses the need to balance sustainable development, integration efforts and democratization in the Eastern Partnership countries amid increasing differentiation and geopolitical challenges in the region.

Project Team Gave a Keynote Speech at the National Conference in Political Science

On 9 January 2023, Dr. Anne Pintsch and Dr. Maryna Rabinovych were honoured to give a keynote speech, titled “Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: Geopolitical Europe and the New World Order”. The annual Norwegian National Conference in Political Science was organized by the Department ofPolitical Science and Management of the University of Agder between 9 and 11 January 2023. The conference is an important venue for scholars from Norwegian universities, colleges and research institutes to discuss research results and ideas.

The Project Team’s keynote speech focused on the EU’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, including the EU’s “geopolitical awakening” that was declared by the EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell soon after the invasion. The main argument was that, while the EU already did much to prevent the Kremlin from winning in Ukraine, it needs to do much more, if it seeks being a geopolitical power in a networked global order. This includes unprecedented sanctions against Russia, multi-faceted support for Ukraine and changes to the affected policies of the EU, such as countering energy dependency with Russia.

Yet, to be genuinely geopolitical, it is critical for the EU to identify its vulnerabilities and develop more autonomous and thought-through policies in the trade, technological, climate and many other sectors. Building a more geopolitical and more autonomous Union also inevitably involves reconsidering the policies towards and relations with other countries – be it allies or perceived sources of threats. It is beyond the doubt that elaborate economic, digital and climate policies and reliable coalitions will help Europe go through crises and withstand the rise of autocrats worldwide.

Yet, it was emphasized that all these new sector policies and changes in relations with specific countries and their groups are not enough for the EU to survive and help others in an increasingly dangerous world, where autocrats militarize everything: energy, space, food and human sufferings. The Project Team concluded with stressing that the EU shall use its aspired geopolitical power, strategic autonomy and resilience to bring the rules-based order back. This will, in turn, only be possible following the restoration of justice after the biggest and most destructive war in Europe since the World War II and the trial over the war criminals – processes, wherein Europe shall take a lead, whatever efforts and time it will take.

The one-hour speech was followed by a questions and answers session.