Lecture by Sebastian Schäffer “Dilemma of Simultaneity 2.0: how do we shape the future of the EU?“

Photos: Diana Popfalushi (OeAD/Lviv), Konstantin Polishchuk

On the 18th of April 2024, Sebastian Shäffer, Director of the Institut für den Donauraum und Mitteleuropa (IDM), gave an open lecture at the Faculty of International Relations of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. This event was organised with the support of the Department of International Communications and Digital Diplomacy, the OeAD Kooperationsbüro Lemberg – Austrian Cooperation Office in Lviv, and the IDM.  

Regarding participants, the presentation was attended by scholars, lecturers of the Department of International Communications and Digital Diplomacy, along students who actively engage in research in the field of international relations and European politics. The moderator of the lecture was the Director of the Digital Diplomacy Lab, Associate Professor Kostiantyn Polishchuk. 

As for the content of his presentation, Sebastian Schäffer outlined the structural, institutional, political, and socio-economic features of the EU enlargement process, emphasising the current challenges caused by both the urgent need for internal EU reform and several external factors, in particular, the full-scale aggression of Russia against Ukraine. Schäffer presented in detail the regulatory and institutional framework for the development and functioning of the EU, particularly in the context of its enlargement. Moreover, the IDM-Director emphasised the new challenges for the (geo)political European community in the context of Russia’s attack against Ukraine, anti-systemic actions of individual state leaders (Hungary, Slovakia) and discussions on the role and place of the EU in the modern global security architecture. To conclude, the speaker paid particular attention to the comparative analysis of the negotiation processes of accession to the EU by different European countries, outlining the prospects of Ukraine’s integration into this organisation. 

Following his presentation, answering the participants‘ questions, Director Schäffer stressed the importance of the EU’s proactive position in the enlargement process, the need to improve the existing institutional and regulatory mechanisms, including bringing Ukraine’s legislation in line with these challenges, to eventually overcome the newest dilemma of simultaneity – multi-speed integration and uneven development of European countries in the context of growing global security challenges.