This CEPS Commentary notes that this is a critical time for the EU’s enlargement agenda with competing interests at play – between those who suggest that further enlargement is a heavy burden that the EU can ill afford in the current economic climate, and others who continue to believe that extending the frontiers of peace and security to include the Balkan countries will make the EU a safer place. To counter the naysayers, Erwan Fouéré underlines the importance for the EU to show that its current strategy continues to deliver dividends, as it certainly does in the case of Kosovo and Serbia. He further advises the EU to be ready to adapt its strategy where necessary, as in the case of Macedonia, by using whatever leverage it has in a more direct and consistent way and ensuring that its policy objectives and strategy in this area are based on the progress assessment narrative and not the other way around. In his view, opening accession negotiations with Macedonia will be the only way to prevent the country from sinking into further political instability.
Erwan Fouéré is Associate Senior Research Fellow at CEPS.