First International Expert Forum on Ukraine (ForUA)

An academic and policy-oriented dialogue on Ukraine’s integration into the European Union.

As Ukraine confronts unprecedented challenges amid Russia’s ongoing full-out war, its aspirations for European Union membership have reached a critical juncture. The First International Expert Forum on Ukraine (ForUA) aims to explore the process of Ukraine’s integration with the West against the backdrop of intense geopolitical shifts. ForUA addresses the intricacies of Ukraine’s potential EU accession and moves beyond mere practicalities to explore the symbiotic relationship between Ukraine’s transformative journey and the evolving constitutional dynamics of the European Union.

The forum scrutinizes the delicate balance between Ukraine’s immediate needs for reconstruction, security guarantees, and its ambitious drive towards EU integration. While Kyiv is implementing substantial reforms, the European Union stands at a crossroads, contemplating effective strategies to accommodate new members amidst the challenges of evolving geopolitical realities. This event endeavors to unravel these multifaceted challenges, providing a platform for leading experts to debate and shape the future course of EU-Ukraine relations.

The International Expert Forum on Ukraine (ForUA) seeks to foster an academic and policy-oriented dialogue on the intricacies of Ukraine’s potential accession to the European Union. Bringing together leading scholars, policy experts, and decision-makers from both the EU—with an emphasis on German expertise—and Ukraine, the event aspires to generate concrete scientific insights and policy recommendations.

Envisioned as an annually held event, the Forum shall provide a platform to observe and evaluate the evolving dynamics between the European Union and Ukraine, including the accession process once it is initiated. 


10:30 – 11:00 Arrival  

11:00 – 11:30 Inaugural Session

11:30 – 13:00 Panel Discussion I:
“Ukraine’s EU Odyssey: Opportunities and Challenges for Ukraine’s Accession to the EU”

This panel explores the evolving dynamics of EU-Ukraine relations since Ukraine’s formal bid for EU membership. It delves into the unique aspects of Ukraine’s accession process, particularly within the context of the ongoing war. The discussion extends to address the EU’s capacity for enlargement and extracts valuable lessons from past expansions, discussing the potential balancing act arising from the need to uphold democratic and legal standards internally and the ambitions to become a more geopolitical actor externally.

Host: Miriam Kosmehl (Bertelsmann Stiftung, Berlin)

Keynote: Chentsov Vsevolod (Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community)


  • Tanja Börzel (FU Berlin) (remote)
  • Markus Kotzur (Universität Hamburg)
  • Dirk Leuffen (Universität Konstanz)
  • Roman Petrov (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy / BIICL)
  • Frank Schimmelfennig (ETH Zürich) (remote)
  • Antje Wiener (Universität Hamburg)

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch 

14:00 – 15:30 Panel Discussion II:
“European Security Redefined: Ukraine’s Potential Accession Amidst Russia’s Full-Scale War” 

This session seeks to dissect the implications of Ukraine’s potential accession to the EU on European security. Panelists will engage in discussions on broader regional and global security challenges, emphasizing Ukraine’s strategic importance. The panel will also consider the impact of the ongoing war on the EU’s security policies and the imperative to redefine security frameworks in the face of new geopolitical realities.

Host: Laura Christoph (IEP, Berlin)

Keynote: Anna Carin Krokstäde (Deputy Head of Ukraine Division, European External Action Service, Brussels)


  • Yuliya Kazdobina (Foreign Policy Council „Ukrainian Prism,”, Kyiv)
  • Alexander Libman (FU Berlin)
  • Helene Sjursen (ARENA – Centre for European Studies / UiO, Oslo) (remote)
  • Ben Tallis (DGAP, Berlin)
  • Richard Whitman (University of Kent) (remote)

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break 

16:00 – 17:30 Panel Discussion III:
“Beyond the Horizon: Ukraine’s Road towards Post-War Recovery and Development”

Focusing on the (post-)conflict landscape of Ukraine, this panel assesses scenarios for Ukraine’s future relations with the EU. The panel shifts the focus towards Ukraine’s urban development challenges and the roles that local governance and civil society play in the country’s reconstruction. The panel explores how the EU can support these initiatives, fostering cooperation and empowering regional entities and civil society in Ukraine.

Host: Roman Goncharenko (Deutsche Welle, Bonn)

Keynote: Maria Mezentseva (Verkhovna Rada, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the European Union) (remote)


  • Veronica Anghel (John Hopkins SAIS, Washington D.C.) (remote)
  • Josip Glaurdic (University of Luxembourg)
  • Maria Popova (McGill University, Montreal) (remote)
  • Maria Repko (Center for Economic Strategy, Kyiv)
  • Viktoriya Sereda (National Academy of Science of Ukraine) (remote)
  • Susan Stewart (SWP, Berlin) (remote)

17:30 – 18:00 Concluding Remarks by Dorothea Rüland, Secretary-General HIAS

18:00 Adjournment 

19:00 Reception at HIAS

The Forum will also feature the work of two Ukrainian artists:

  • At Warburg-Haus, we present Daniil Russov’s “The New Normal? Impressions from the Ukrainian Battlefield”, an exhibition featuring 12 documentalist photographs from 2022 in black and white.
  • At HIAS, Yuliia Marushko presents her work on “Woman and War” from 2015.


Date and Venue

20 December 2023

Heilwigstr. 116, 20249 Hamburg
and virtual


This event will be hybrid and takes place in English. It is for registered guests only. If you are interested in the event, please register by sending an email to and indicate whether you would like to participate in person or via Zoom. In this case you will receive the login data a few days before the workshop

This event is jointly organized with

Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder