Ireland’s future lies firmly in the EU but it can never be at the heart of Europe

In her state of the union address before the European Parliament, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen was explicit in stating that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed everything for the European Union. In noting that “never before has this parliament debated . . . with war raging on European soil”, she was acknowledging the terrible uncertainties of military conflict.

Because in the coming winter war, Europe will simultaneously attempt to reorient and maintain its energy supply, support consumers from surging prices while also increasing spending on security and defence. All this, in addition to maintaining political unity on Ukraine, integrating millions of Ukrainian refugees and staving off economic collapse.

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