The EU’s Enlargement Agenda – Credibility at stake?
Despite the proven success of the EU’s enlargement policy over the past few years, criticism within the EU member countries has grown. While the European Commission’s enlargement strategy for 2014-15 reaffirms the importance of placing fundamental reforms relating to rule of law, economic governance and public administration reform at the heart of the negotiation process, the latest Progress Reports present a rather bleak picture on the state of reforms in the candidate countries. Major efforts are required to maintain the credibility of the enlargement policy and demonstrate to an increasingly sceptical public that the transformative power of the EU continues to work. To achieve this, the EU needs to reinvigorate its strategy by adopting a more consistent and determined approach.
Erwan Fouéré is an Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies.