Kyiv Security Forum

Malcolm Rifkind: Possible EU transformation will accelerate Ukraine’s membership in the European community

14 April 2016, 16:03

“Recent trends observed in the member states of the European Union on the possible transformation of the community, will facilitate acceleration of issue on Ukraine’s membership in the EU” - this opinion Malcolm Rifkind, Chairman of Defense and Security Committee (2010-2015), Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1995-1997), during the 9th Kyiv Security Forum organized by Arseniy Yatseniuk Open Ukraine Foundation. 

"The EU is changing and not always in a way preferable for those who have traditionally been elite in Brussels," - said Malcolm Rifkind in his speech. He said that new political associations, which are “Eurosceptic” in their essence, emerge in Europe. Malcolm Rifkind also reminded of the planned referendum on EU membership in the UK and the results of the recent referendum in the Netherlands.

“But the Dutch vote, British uncertainty as to the membership in the EU could be part of a historical process that is absolutely necessary. This should lead to the prosperity of the European Union, which would not insist on full integration of each new member of the Union”, – suggested the British statesman.

He recalled that at the inception of creating the EU the idea of the need for full integration into the community dominated. “But now we know about certain countries that are not fully integrated. We are talking now about Europe, where everybody does not completely move in a single direction,” – said Malcolm Rifkind.

"But not only the UK, Sweden, Denmark, possibly Poland, do not want to accept some forms of full integration into the EU. And if EU membership will provide a possibility of partial integration without full implementation of the most insufficient requirements and will enable to maintain its national freedom in some areas I think that for Ukraine it will mean that its’ way to the EU membership will become shorter than it is now”,– said Malcolm Rifkind.


The annual international event Kyiv Security Forum launched by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007 is a platform for debate on the most pressing security issues in Europe and the Black Sea Region. 

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9th Kyiv Security Forum (Ukrainian):