Renewing the EU Enlargement Project: A Matter of Necessity,
Author: Maria Alesina, PhD, ELF Policy & Research Officer
European integration has resulted in an unprecedented period of peace and ever-extending liberties for European citizens. When peace, security, and freedom on the continent are once again at stake, it is time to return to the fundamentals of the European project and renew our commitment to its initial purpose and vision. Based on the results of the 2022 ELF Working Group on staged integration, this paper proposes a policy model that can bring a solution to the long-lasting stalemate in EU enlargement.
The first part problematises the lack of progress in the accession of candidate countries, outlines the geopolitical imperatives for renewing the enlargement project, and calls for liberal leadership in this process. The second part discusses the lasting need for a revised enlargement methodology and puts on the liberal policymaking agenda a proposal for a ‘staged integration’ approach to progressive accession across a variety of sectors for staged integration models and concludes with recommendations for policymakers.