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Call for Commentaries: Security Guarantees for Ukraine and the Future of Euro-Atlantic Security

The European Leadership Network (ELN) and the Younger Generation Leaders Network (YGLN) announce a call for proposals for short commentaries (800 to max. 1,200 words). The purpose of this call is to bring together contributions by Ukrainian scholars and think-tankers under the age of 40, to address the question of security guarantees for Ukraine and to help ensure that younger-generation Ukrainian scholars have a clear voice in the European policy debate about one of the most critical issues affecting them. These papers should deepen and enrich the policy debate that is already in motion about possible options for security guarantees, commitments or assurances.

The length of the proposal should not exceed 350 words and should outline the core argument that the commentary would make. The ELN will select the most promising proposals and will invite the respective authors to write a full paper for the ELN’s website. These papers should be in the format of a commentary with clear policy recommendations, providing strong and concise arguments on the following topic:

In the wake of Russia’s illegal and full-fledged war against Ukraine, Kyiv legitimately asks for security guarantees from Western states, including membership in the EU and NATO. So far, Western leaders have been rather cautious in providing Ukraine with these guarantees – one crucial reason being the uncertainty over implications for those providing security guarantees, including the risk of escalating to a Russia-NATO war with a potential nuclear dimension. 

Authors are requested to address a specific angle or question, such as (but not limited to) one of the following:

  • Rather than discussing the moral imperative for Ukraine’s membership in EU/NATO, what do the different ideas about security assurances, guarantees, or commitments mean to Ukrainians? How could security assurances or guarantees be made credible and convincing, given what has happened to the security assurances provided in the Budapest Memorandum?
  • Who are the key actors, and whose involvement would be less important? What role can European countries play – with or without a strong commitment from the US?
  • What are the pros and cons of moving forward with security guarantees from a number of NATO countries as an immediate measure, before Ukraine moves to full NATO membership? How can security guarantees from specific country partners be sequenced with, and linked to, Ukraine’s NATO and EU accession?
  • What kind of security guarantees or commitments can help to reduce the risk of Russian WMD use in Ukraine?

The commentaries will be published on the ELN’s website and shared with the ELN’s contact list of policymakers and experts. In addition, authors will get the opportunity to present their findings in a bespoke meeting together with members of the ELN’s Younger Generation Leaders Network (YGLN), the ELN senior network, and senior representatives of NATO and EU.


Deadline for submission of proposals: 18 September (successful candidates will be informed by 2 October)

Deadline for full commentaries: 6 November

Date of the online meeting with officials: end of November, date TBD

Publication of papers on the website: beginning of December

Please submit the proposals to: [email protected]
(please include “Call for Commentaries” in the subject line)

For any questions, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]