Lucinda Creighton: EU must not make promises of membership to Ukraine that it will not keep

The EU has to decide if it wants Ukraine to join the bloc – and if not, then spare it the decades of delays that have poisoned relationships with Turkey and the western Balkans

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen applauds Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (on screen) as he speaks in a video conference during a special plenary session of the European Parliament. The commission has opened the door for Ukraine to join the EU at some later date. Picture: AFP via Getty

Almost 20 years have passed since the 2003 Thessaloniki summit on the enlargement of the EU to include the six countries of the western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (now North Macedonia), Serbia and Montenegro.

In the years since, only one of those nations has joined the bloc, and the accession of the others feels further away than ever. Similarly, Turkey formally applied to join the European Economic ...