Tag: EU enlargement


Next Steps for EU Enlargement

The EU’s present enlargement process, once applauded as the EU’s most successful foreign policy, is not working well. With the addition of candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova the case for a serious reform of existing procedures is widely recognised. This is witnessed by the emergence of several proposals, mostly for restoring the incentive power […]

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Yet another failure of EU leadership in the Western Balkans

The European Council that took place on 23-24 June will be remembered for the historic decision to endorse Ukraine and Moldova’s application for EU membership and to grant them candidate status. For the countries of the Western Balkans, whose leaders were invited to a pre-European Council conference by the French Presidency of the Council, it […]


Interpreting the Commission Opinions on the membership applications of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, and next steps for the European Council

The Commission’s three Opinions on the membership applications of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, if endorsed by the European Council as seems likely on 23-24 June, will mark a geopolitical turning point for Europe, bringing the three eastern European states into the EU’s enlargement process, albeit with a less advanced formulation for the time being for […]


The New Agenda for the EU’s Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policies

The war in Ukraine, triggering membership applications from Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and coming on top of widespread calls for reinvigorating the stagnant accession process in the Western Balkans, has led Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Charles Michel to open up a fundamental debate on the EU’s enlargement and neighbourhood policies. Ideas include a revamping of […]

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Georgia’s dubious application for EU membership

Barely a week after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Georgia submitted its application to accede to the EU on 3 March, following Ukraine and alongside Moldova. The European Commission has been invited by the European Council to deliver its ‘Opinion’ on each of the three cases, and these are expected at the beginning of June. CEPS […]


Can the war in Ukraine revive the EU’s enlargement agenda for the Western Balkans?

For years the EU has been repeating the mantra of its enlargement policy representing ‘a strategic investment in peace, stability and economic growth on our European continent’. Yet it has singularly failed to deliver on its promises towards the Western Balkans region, with a succession of blockages and delays, many of which have more to […]


CEPS Expert Briefing: informal meeting of EU leaders

The French Presidency has convened EU leaders for an informal summit on 10 and 11 March with a significant shift in the substance of the meeting, given Russia’s war on Ukraine. On the agenda: EU enlargement, sovereignty and defence. How to revise the EU’s enlargement process, following the application for EU membership by three DCFTA […]

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Considering Ukraine, why Georgia deserves EU membership

Georgia has now officially applied for EU membership. Once viewed as a front runner in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood, the country has experienced democratic backsliding over the past few years which may cast doubts on Georgia’s readiness for joining the EU. Yet given the long and winding road that Georgia needed to take to reach […]


History and identity should not blight the EU’s enlargement policy towards the Western Balkans

The EU must reject any attempt to introduce notions of history and identity into its enlargement policy. Otherwise it risks trampling on its 70 years of experience in overcoming the legacy of the past and promoting a peace project based on reconciliation and the rule of law. Yet this is precisely what is happening with […]

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The EU’s enlargement agenda is no longer fit for purpose

This past year was supposed to have marked another milestone in the EU’s enlargement policy, with an agreement on the opening of accession negotiations with both North Macedonia and Albania. After repeated delays, the start date was expected to be before the end of 2020. But after France’s refusal in 2019 to entertain any further […]