• read the article paying attention to focus words
  • summarise the main ideas, identify the author’s message
  • comment on the ideas expressed by the author
  • compose 3 questions for discussion


advanceспособствовать; приближать, ускорять; продвигаться
pursueпреследовать, продолжать, заниматься; искать, добиваться
attend toобращать внимание; уделять внимание
assetимущество; средства; активы; ценное качество, вклад
undergoподвергаться, испытывать, переносить
fosterпоощрять, воспитывать, благоприятствовать
triggerинициировать, вызывать, дать начало
tangibleматериальный, ощутимый, осязаемый
feasibleвозможный, осуществимый, выполнимый, вероятный


  1. success in
  2. threat to
  3. prospect of
  4. tension over
  5. regardless of
  6. paradox for 
  7. renege on
  8. belonging to
  9. option for
  10. opportunities for 
  11. approach to
  12. account for
  13. basis for
  14. contribute to 
  15. attend to

European Integration in a Fragmenting World

Aug 23, 2022 Javier Solana

Javier Solana, a former EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, secretary-general of NATO, and foreign minister of Spain, is President of EsadeGeo – Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The European Union’s undeniable success in advancing regional integration does not make it a finished project. As threats to global stability increase, the EU must continue to pursue its strategic interests, as well as attend to the European ambitions and prospects of all the countries in its immediate neighborhood.

MADRID – Global stability is a fragile asset, as the war in Ukraine and heightened tensions over Taiwan have recently shown. In a world that is tearing itself apart, the European Union should make trust in the European project a top strategic priority. Against the backdrop of unfulfilled EU membership aspirations, other powers could exploit citizens’ frustration – as we are now seeing in the Western Balkans, where Russia is seeking to reassert its influence. More than ever, the Union must demonstrate that it is a useful and reliable partner for all European countries, regardless of their formal relationship with the EU. 

The present is a period of paradox for Europe. Despite a succession of severe convulsions, European integration has recently undergone a historic acceleration. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe two and a half years ago, practically all of the EU’s decisions have sought to strengthen member states’ political integration. Historically, the success of European integration has created the possibility, as well as the challenge, of enlarging the Union to include new members. The EU must continue to integrate, knowing that its vocation extends to the entire European continent. But, to guarantee its continuity, the EU will have to offer accession candidates new forms of participation that help to foster a feeling of belonging to the European project. In fact, the EU’s internal political integration and its enlargement to include other European countries are two historically inseparable processes. In a speech at the beginning of this century at the Humboldt University of Berlin, then-German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer clearly explained the historical importance and difficulty of European integration. “The need to organize these two processes [the EU’s political integration and enlargement] in parallel is undoubtedly the biggest challenge the Union has faced since its creation,” Fischer said. “But no generation can choose the challenges it is tossed by history.” The EU will never renege on its longstanding commitment to extend its integration project to countries that show a clear willingness to join. Ukraine and Moldova – driven toward the Union by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s senseless war – were granted candidate status in June. And the EU’s recent decision to start formal pre-accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia could trigger a positive dynamic that strengthens Western Balkan countries’ ties with European institutions. Ukraine is part of Europe, and its citizens have repeatedly demonstrated their eagerness to become part of the EU. If the country meets the bloc’s entry requirements, there is no reason why it should not be admitted. To facilitate Ukraine’s integration process, the EU has a responsibility to assist in the country’s physical and political reconstruction from the ravages of Putin’s war. Researchers at the Kyiv School of Economics estimate that rebuilding Ukraine’s physical infrastructure alone will cost at least $100 billion. Clearly, reconstruction will have to be a collective effort. 

Today, with war on the EU’s borders, all options for deepening Europe’s political integration – and not only the Union’s enlargement – must be on the table. French President Emmanuel Macron, for example, has proposed a “European Political Community.” But, whatever name the new structure takes, it must create opportunities for cooperation with the EU, thereby making integration a tangible reality for candidate countries. Achieving this will require the EU to foster cooperation between candidate countries. While the Union’s current bilateral approach to accession candidates enables a separate assessment of each country’s membership prospects, it also risks turning enlargement into a predominantly competitive process. The EU must therefore offer non-members an ambitious and realistic regional integration model. Promises of eventual membership and the long negotiations that precede it will harm the Union if they generate frustration among candidate countries’ governments and citizens. North Macedonia, for example, had to wait too long – 17 years – between being granted candidate status and receiving the green light to start accession negotiations. Recognizing that there may be other formulas besides enlargement for integrating the European continent does not imply that this policy has been unsuccessful. Without the EU’s 2004 enlargement to Eastern Europe, the bloc would not be the commercial and regulatory power it is today. Successive enlargements have made the EU one of the world’s biggest economies, accounting for around 16% of global GDP (in purchasing-power-parity terms). But, in cases when enlarging the EU to extend the zone of European stability is not feasible for geographical or political reasons, the fundamental question for European policymakers has been what alternative instruments they could use. Ever since West German Chancellor Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik established the basis for rapprochement between the West and the Soviet bloc in the late 1960s, establishing bonds of economic interdependence has been the main answer.

But such a strategy presupposes the existence of responsible geopolitical actors – and the main lesson of the Ukraine war is that Russia is currently not a responsible actor. Clearly, economic interdependence does not contribute to stability if it produces asymmetric dependencies that leave one party vulnerable in times of conflict. Europe will have to stop feeling vulnerable, and a lot will have to change in the Kremlin, before the EU can consider any formal relationship with Russia in the future. The EU’s undeniable success in advancing regional integration does not make it a finished project, or even one with a predetermined ending. But Europeans must remain on this path. Today, that means the EU must pursue its strategic interests while attending to the European ambitions and prospects of all the countries in its immediate neighborhood.


  1. What are the potential risks of enlargement of the EU? Should the EU reconsider its decision to include new members in a fragmented world? 
  2. What can be alternative instruments to advance European integration in addition to the internal political integration within the EU and its enlargement?
  3. When the EU’s enlargement goes beyond the European continent, what should be the ways to foster a feeling of belonging to the European project among potential members?





advance приоритет 
pursue возможный, осуществимый, выполнимый, вероятный
attend to инициировать, вызывать, дать начало 
asset способствовать; приближать, ускорять; продвигаться 
priority материальный, ощутимый, осязаемый
undergo преследовать, продолжать, заниматься; искать, добиваться 
foster обращать внимание; уделять внимание
trigger поощрять, воспитывать, благоприятствовать
tangible имущество; средства; активы; ценное качество, вклад
feasible подвергаться, испытывать, переносить 


advance to promote the growth or development of; further; encourage
pursue capable of being done, effected, or accomplished, probable; likely
attend to a useful or valuable quality, item
asset to move or go forward; proceed; to increase in quantity, value, price; to improve or make progress; to grow or rise in importance, status
priority status established in order of importance or urgency 
to be subjected to; experience; to endure; sustain; suffer
fosterpay attention to; take seriously; to deal with smb/ smth
triggerthat can be touched, definite; not vague; clear
tangibleto initiate or precipitate; put in motion or move to act
feasibleto follow in order to overtake; to strive to gain; seek to attain or accomplish 


advance precedence
pursue material, physical, substantial, touchable, concrete, visible,
attend to follow, track, engage, participate
asset promote , encourage , cultivate, advance , nurture
priority cause, generate, produce, prompt, provoke, activate, incite
undergo belongings, holding, property, aid, benefit, resource, service
foster to experience; to endure; sustain; suffer
trigger move forward, proceed, go forward, continue, progress
tangible possible, doable, achievable, attainable, practicable, workable
feasible assist, take care of, look after


advancechild/  development/ growth/  a sense of responsibility
pursueto provide/ for investment/ technically/ perfectly
attend tobusiness/ the needs/ demands/ interests
assetalarm/ produce/ development/ collapse/ destruction 
prioritywith caution/ your career/ through generations/ understanding/ negotiations
undergoa procedure/ an operation/ change/ training/ scrutiny
fostertreated as / considered as/ utmost/ highest
triggergoals/ targets/ improvement/ difference/ evidence
tangiblepublic/ private/ valuable/ allocate/ invest
feasiblea goal/ objective/  a policy/ a career





attend to 






1. Labour groups were asking that workers be allowed to see a doctor or ………… a personal matter without risking disciplinary action.
2. The Biden administration is not doing prioritisation planning this time around because officials don’t think it would prevent an economic crisis and are unsure whether such a plan is even  ………… .
3. “The global economy is …………  the greatest transformation that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution,” Mr. Biden said.
4. An economic meltdown risks …………  unrest that could spread to other parts of the Middle East and propel an exodus of migrants to Europe.
5. Among the only …………  changes that the bank has committed to is cutting as much as 25 percent of its staff and slashing executive compensation by an unspecified amount.
6. China will guide private firms to find the right position in the country’s high-quality economic development, and …………  their own reforms and upgrading, state media said.
7. In a country so well-known for regular political crises, a government collapse ………… by the disintegration of one of the coalition partners does not seem such an unlikely scenario.
8. The union’s president said the victory could help ………… workers’ rights in an industry rife with exploitation and physical hazards.
9. Deep inside the Pentagon and in defence industry circles, hypersonics research is a top ………… .
10. Sovereign wealth funds are like a savings account for a country, and they typically invest in shares, currencies, property or other ………… 


heightena) its influence
membership b) cooperation
reassert c) requirements
inseparable d) integration process
longstanding e) prospects
meet entry f) tensions
facilitate g) negotiations
foster h) commitment
membershipi) aspirations
accession j) processes


E.g. _____________ theoretically feasible_____________

Projects under discussion, like a 2,600-mile undersea link that would take solar power from Australia to Singapore, are theoretically feasible, if the economics can be made to work.

  1. _________ taking a big step toward advancing _________
  2. _________ pursued a strategy designed to _________
  3. _________ attending to energy security _________
  4. _________ is deploying assets to aid _________
  5. _________ one of key priorities for _________
  6. _________ expected to undergo _________
  7. _________ practical step in fostering collaboration _________
  8. _________ triggered a shift in _________
  9. _________ is having a tangible effect on _________
  10. _________ is technologically feasible _________


  1. success ___
  2. threat ___
  3. prospect ___
  4. tension ___
  5. regardless ___
  6. paradox ___
  7. renege ___
  8. belonging ___
  9. option ___
  10. opportunities ___
  11. approach ___
  12. account ___
  13. basis ___
  14. contribute ___ 
  15. attend ___


  1. The inflation rate is the region’s highest, and the economy ………… .
  1. stagnated
  2. being stagnated
  3. is stagnating
  4. had stagnated

2. The SCO charter ……………. security cooperation as central to the organization’s purpose, and SCO members regularly …………. joint military and anti-terrorism exercises.

  1. has established; held
  2. establishes; hold
  3. establish; hold
  4. is established; hold

3. The block ……………..  the East Asia Summit, currently with 18 member states, in 2005.

  1. established
  2. has established
  3. had established
  4. was established

4. Mercosur …………. as a trade grouping; in fact, it ……….. a political creation from the start.

  1. was usually described; has been
  2. is usually described; is
  3. is usually described; has been
  4. usually describes; has been 

5. If Arab countries ……… to address the challenges they face in an efficient and sustainable way, there …….  no alternative.

  1. want; is
  2. will want; will be
  3. wants; is
  4. want; was

6. Building a new multilateralism won’t be easy; it ………. even appear impossible.

  1. may have
  2. may
  3. must
  4. should

7. At a time when large powers and global trends are reshaping the regional environment, the only way for ASEAN countries ………….. their interests effectively is by working together.

  1. advanced
  2. to have advanced
  3. to advance
  4. to be advanced

8. Confucianism, dating from around the same time, remains at the heart of China’s social thinking, ………….  Mao’s ruthless attempts to suppress it.

  1. however
  2. while
  3. whereas
  4. despite

9. Official Russian opinion looks forward to “the interpenetration and integration of the EEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt” into a “Greater Eurasia,” …………. will afford a “steady developing safe common neighborhood of Russia and China.” 

  1. that
  2. what
  3. where
  4. which

10 .………… , several occurrences of natural disasters will result in the inefficient use of capital and would hinder long-term economic growth.

  1. As
  2. Thus
  3. Provided
  4. Moreover


способствовать; приближать,
ускорять; продвигаться
to move or go forward; proceed; to increase in quantity, value, price; to improve or make progress; to grow or rise in importance, status

move forward, proceed, go forward, continue, progress

advance [with caution, carefully, slowly]
advance in [your career, in the company]
advance through [time, the years, generations]
advance [humanity, society, the nation, your career][failed, efforts] to advance (the) [negotiations, talks]
advance the [understanding, development, cause] of
искать, добиваться
to follow in order to overtake; to strive to gain; seek to attain or accomplish

follow, track, engage, participate

to pursue a goal
to pursue an aim/objective
to pursue a policy 
to pursue a career
attend to
обращать внимание; 
уделять внимание
pay attention to; take seriously; to deal with somebody/something

assist, take care of, look after

attend to [business, the matter at hand]
(have) [business] to attend 
to attend to the needs
имущество; средства; активы; ценное качество, вклад
a useful or valuable quality, item

belongings, holding, property, aid, benefit, resource, service

[public, private] assets
[digital, capital, real, total, net] assets
is a [liquid, fixed, variable] asset
is [an important, an essential, a valuable] asset (to)
an asset of the [public, people, company]
[allocate, invest, protect, insure, liquidate, sell off] your assets
has [a number, many] assets
status established in order of importance or urgency 


should be treated as a priority
should be considered a priority
your [number one, top] priority
it is your [number one] priority to [go, pick up, find, complete] this [project, assignment, task]
is your [number one] priority
make it your [number one] priority
it is a priority to [ensure, provide, get]
is of the [utmost, highest] priority
has never been a priority
to be subjected to; experience; pass through, to endure;
sustain; suffer

to experience; to endure; sustain; suffer

undergo [a procedure, an operation]
is undergoing [treatment, therapy, surgery] (for)
has undergone a major [change, breakup, move]
undergo (further) [training, testing, renovation, development]
has undergone (extensive) [training]
undergo (additional) [scrutiny, examination, screening]
undergo [starvation, deprivation, hardships]
воспитывать, благоприятствовать
to promote the growth or development of; further; encourage

promote , encourage , cultivate, advance , nurture

foster a [child, dog]
[woman, family] who fosters [children, orphans]
foster the [creation, development, growth] of
foster and [promote, encourage, support]
foster a sense of [responsibility, pride]
is fostering (a sense of) resentment
foster [negative, destructive] thoughts
дать начало
to initiate or precipitate; put in motion or move to act

cause, generate, produce, prompt, provoke, activate, incite

trigger the [alarm]
triggers [asthma, allergies]
[can, may] trigger the [symptoms, disease]
triggered by [stress, poor diet]
triggered to [produce, release, send]
triggered the [development, creation, invention] of
trigger the [collapse, destruction] of the [company, organization, empire, government]
that can be touched, definite; not vague; clear

material, physical, substantial, touchable, concrete, visible, observable

tangible [goals, targets, objectives]
make a tangible [improvement, difference, contribution]
[have, calculate, sell] tangible assets
present tangible [evidence, proof]
[reach, set] a tangible goal
the goal [seems, looks] tangible
осуществимый, выполнимый,
capable of being done, effected, or accomplished, probable; likely

possible, doable, achievable, attainable, practicable, workable

it is (not) feasible to [have, use, provide]
it is (not) feasible for them to [have]
is (not) feasible for [many, some]
is not feasible for [investment, travel]
is not feasible at present
[is, seems, would be] perfectly feasible
it’s technically feasible, but