Can EU Enlargement Gain Momentum?

Author (Person)
Series Title
Publication Date November 2022
Content Type


Russia's attack on Ukraine propelled enlargement back to the top of the EU's agenda after many years of stasis. In June 2022, EU leaders agreed that Moldova and Ukraine would become candidates for EU membership. They also agreed Georgia could do so if it met certain conditions. In July 2022, the EU began accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, after years of delay. And in early October, the European Commission recommended that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be given candidate status if it further strengthened the rule of law and fundamental rights. It would be difficult to maintain this momentum, however. There were two sets of obstacles. First, the Commission's annual reports on enlargement, released in October, made clear that the candidates faced daunting challenges in meeting the conditions for membership. Second, many member-states, including France, Germany and Italy, were lukewarm about enlargement and thought that the EU needed to reform before it expanded – but member-states  struggled to agree on reforms. That meant the near-term focus of enlargement policy should be on helping the candidate countries to reform themselves, and finding ways to integrate them more closely with the Union before membership.

Source Link
Alternative sources
Related Links
ESO Records
European Commission: COM (2022) 528: 2022 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy
CER Bulletin: No 144, June/July 2022: Will the EU Rethink Enlargement?
ECFR Policy Briefs No 453: June 2022: Partnership for Enlargement: A new way to integrate Ukraine and the EU’s eastern neighbourhood
The Conversation: 07/09/2022: War in Ukraine: has the time for EU enlargement arrived?

Subject Categories
Subject Tags , ,
Countries / Regions , , , , ,
International Organisations