20 years ago, at the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Thessaloniki, European leaders promised to integrate the countries of the Balkans into the European Union. While Croatia was the last country to join the EU in July 2013, Montenegro and Serbia have been negotiating EU accession for more than 10 years. Turkey even started accession talks in 2005, but the negotiations have been at a standstill due to continued democratic backsliding. Only Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine brought new impetus to the EU’s enlargement policy, shifting its focus from a bureaucratic exercise to a geopolitical matter. With the membership applications by Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, there are now 10 countries eager to join the European Union.
Given the example of Montenegro, we will organise an in-person roundtable discussion on 5 July, from 9 to 10:30 CEST at the Thon Hotel EU (Rue de la Loi 75, 1040 Brussels). In light of the Montenegrin presidential and parliamentary elections, we will discuss the future of EU enlargement policy. Since the EU-Montenegro accession talks started in June 2012, today all 33 negotiation chapters have been opened, leading the recently elected president, Jakov Milatović, to state that he wants his country to become the EU’s 28 member state by 2028.
While the EU is still attracting countries in its neighbourhood, a larger European Union requires a reform of its institutional set-up and mechanisms to safeguard democracy and the rule of law in its member states. Against this backdrop we want to debate the future of the EU’s enlargement policy in the course of the Zeitenwende triggered by Russia’s war of aggression. What kind of enlargement policy is needed in order to integrate more members? What are the prerequisites for new models of EU integration such as staged accession or a membership with less (voting) rights? How does the EU have to change internally to make further enlargement possible?
Moderated by Rados Musovic, Expert on European Enlargement Policy
The roundtable discussion will be held in English only. There will be no interpretation. The registration is closed.
For more information, please contact: marco.schwarz(at)fes.de