Members' Research Service By / June 13, 2023

EU enlargement [What Think Tanks are thinking]

This note gathers links to the recent publications and commentaries from many international think tanks on enlargement and issues with EU accession countries.

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Written by Marcin Grajewski.

The European Union has found new impetus for enlargement in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, making progress in what was once called the EU’s most successful policy. A year ago, the EU granted Ukraine and Moldova official EU candidate status and also opened the same possibility for Georgia. Politicians and analysts more and more often say that the EU should become more involved in the Western Balkan countries, which saw their membership prospects open 20 years ago. If it does not, those countries could drift away politically from the Union and exacerbate conflicts in the post-Yugoslav area. For Turkey, EU membership is no longer a priority, while popular support for EU accession is declining in Serbia, partly due to the influence of Russia.   

‘There is a new awareness inside the EU. We finally realise that it is not enough to just wait for our friends outside the Union to move closer to us. It is not enough to say that the door is open. We must also take responsibility to bring the aspiring members of our Union much closer to us,’ European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the GLOBSEC conference in Bratislava in May.

This note gathers links to the recent publications and commentaries from many international think tanks on enlargement and issues with EU accession countries.

The future of the European Political Community
European Council on Foreign Relations, June 2023

Who is afraid of Georgian democracy?
Carnegie Europe, May 2023

Time to get serious about Moldova
Carnegie Europe, May 2023

Is the EU ready for further enlargement?
Carnegie Europe, May 2023

The European Political Community: From Prague to Chisinau and beyond
European Policy Centre, May 2023

Applying for EU membership in time of war: ‘Accession through war’ of Ukraine
Istituto Affari Internazionali, May 2023

Keeping friends closer: Why the EU should address new geoeconomic realities and deepen partnerships with its neighbours
Bertelsmann Stiftung, April 2023

How Russia’s invasion of Ukraine tested the international legal order
Brookings Institution, April 2023

Why Ukraine needs security guarantees
Carnegie Europe, April 2023

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Gas disputes along ethnic lines
Centre for Eastern Studies, April 2023

Croatia’s prime minister: There should be fewer roadblocks for EU enlargement to the Balkans, and Ukraine
Atlantic Council, March 2023

Is the EU doing enough for Eastern Europe?
Carnegie Europe, March 2023

The politics of dialogue: How the EU can change the conversation in Kosovo and Serbia
European Council on Foreign Relations, March 2023

Georgia must get its act together to become an EU candidate country 
European Policy Centre, March 2023

Ukraine’s accession talks need bold action in Kyiv and Brussels
European Policy Centre, March 2023

Europe and Russia on the Balkan front: Geopolitics and diplomacy in the EU’s backyard
Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale, March 2023

Making the EU and member states policy towards the Western Balkans socio-economically more sustainable
Österreichische Gesellschaft für Europapolitik, March 2023

Consequences of the war in Ukraine: Two areas of contention -Turkey and the Balkans
Rand Corporation, March 2023

The normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, March 2023

Can enlargement be the EU’s most successful foreign policy, again?
Carnegie Europe via Aspenia, February 2023

The EU must reconcile geopolitics and democracy
Carnegie Europe, February 2023

Closer to the West? Serbia’s foreign policy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Centre for Eastern Studies, February 2023

Dutch parliament demands geopolitical alignment in EU enlargement
Clingendael, February 2023

Ukraine: Conflict at the crossroads of Europe and Russia
Council on Foreign Relations, February 2023

Resolving the Kosovo-Serbia dispute: The key to limiting Russia’s influence in the Balkans
European Policy Centre, February 2023

Can the EU still wrest the Balkans from their blighted history?
Fondation Robert Schuman, February 2023

Role of regional organizations and initiatives towards acceleration of the Western Balkans’ European integration
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, February 2023

How enlargement accomplishes European unity while changing its nature
Jacques Delors Institute, February 2023

The EU should fast-track negotiations for Ukraine’s membership
Peterson Institute for International Economics, February 2023

The impressive EU-Ukraine summits: Alongside the inadequate enlargement methodology
Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies, February 2023

Western Balkan foreign and security ties with external actors
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, February 2023

Hedging its bets: Serbia between Russia and the EU
Carnegie Europe, January 2023

Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union: Enlargement as a strategic decision
EUROPEUM, January 2023          

Russia’s war in Ukraine: Rethinking the EU’s eastern enlargement and neighbourhood policy
German Council on Foreign Relations, January 2023

Read this briefing on ‘EU enlargement‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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