EU enlargement [What Think Tanks are thinking]

15-01-2016

The pace of the European Union's enlargement has slowed following its historic expansion in 2004-07 to take in 10 countries from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus and Malta. From among EU hopefuls which have been given membership prospects - Turkey and Western Balkan countries - only Croatia joined the EU in 2013. Accession negotiations continue with Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Iceland has dropped its membership bid. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said he does not expect any new country to join the EU during his term in office, which ends in 2019, a statement confirmed in the European Commission's most recent enlargement strategy. The EU hails enlargement as one of its most successful policies as it enforces reforms in candidate countries and expands the zone of democracy and stability in Europe. But many analysts and politicians say that before expanding further, the EU must overcome its numerous, internal problems as well as give time to potential entrants to prepare themselves for membership, notably in areas such as respect for fundamental rights and anti-corruption policies. This note offers links to a series of recent studies from major international think tanks and research institutes on the enlargement process and the challenges faced by countries aspiring to EU membership.

The pace of the European Union's enlargement has slowed following its historic expansion in 2004-07 to take in 10 countries from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus and Malta. From among EU hopefuls which have been given membership prospects - Turkey and Western Balkan countries - only Croatia joined the EU in 2013. Accession negotiations continue with Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Iceland has dropped its membership bid. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said he does not expect any new country to join the EU during his term in office, which ends in 2019, a statement confirmed in the European Commission's most recent enlargement strategy. The EU hails enlargement as one of its most successful policies as it enforces reforms in candidate countries and expands the zone of democracy and stability in Europe. But many analysts and politicians say that before expanding further, the EU must overcome its numerous, internal problems as well as give time to potential entrants to prepare themselves for membership, notably in areas such as respect for fundamental rights and anti-corruption policies. This note offers links to a series of recent studies from major international think tanks and research institutes on the enlargement process and the challenges faced by countries aspiring to EU membership.