Share twitter instagram facebook LinkedIn youtube

To improve our website we use google Analytics.

Our privacy statement and the privacy statement of google analytics apply.

EU Enlargement – ‘Zeitenwende’ or old wine in new bottles?

Antagain / iStock
Antagain / iStock

The old debate on widening and deepening the EU is back. The EU needs to compose the right package between internal reforms and enlargement while at the same time adjusting its enlargement policy as such. Variable geometries of Europe can provide a helpful stepping stone.

The geopolitical restructuring in Europe in response to the Russian war of aggression has also reinvigorated the EU’s enlargement policy. The acceleration of long-deadlocked accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia and the granting of candidate status to Moldova and Ukraine represent a “Zeitenwende” of its own. At the same time, italso poses the significant challenge of maintaining the momentum without watering down accession criteria or limiting the decision-making capabilities of an enlarged EU.

In this policy brief, Dr Funda Tekin takes stock of the new political dynamic of the enlargement process and the challenges that remain. She outlines a roadmap for the next enlargement rounds based on a package deal between widening and deepening. In addition, a differentiation of the enlargement process is needed. Furthermore, EU enlargement policy should relate to the variable geometries that structure wider Europe without losing sight of the membership perspective. The German government must develop a respective strategy now and promote it among like-minded European partners.

Team & authors

About the Berlin Perspectives project: The IEP Policy Brief series Berlin Perspectives presents precise analyses on Germany’s European policy to an English-speaking audience. The authors analyse German European policy positions on current topics and debates to provide policy recommendations based on their findings.

Image copyright: Antagain / iStock