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EU Enlargement

Current Challenges and Strategic Choices

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Finn Laursen

Successive enlargements of the EU have constituted major events in the history of European integration. They affect the Union’s institutions, policies and policy-making processes and, because of the impact of these changes, enlargements have often been controversial. The major enlargement in 2004, which took the EU from 15 to 25 member countries, was followed by Romanian and Bulgarian membership in 2007 and Croatian membership in 2013.
It is often argued that there is now enlargement fatigue, and progress towards the next step seems slow. However, a number of countries, especially in the Western Balkans, are eager to join, and Turkey has been an official candidate since 1999. Major challenges lie ahead for the candidates as well as the EU. Will the candidates be able to carry out the required reforms to fulfil the membership conditions, and will the EU be able – politically and institutionally – to widen its membership further? These decisions are of strategic importance for the future of Europe.
This book analyses the issues involved, exploring the status of the ongoing enlargement process and the political games associated with it.

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Irina Angelescu is a Research Fellow with the European Center of Excellence of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, a Consultant with the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) of the Brookings Institutions in Washington, DC and a PhD Candidate in International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of Geneva. She has pub- lished articles and chapters in edited volumes on European policies of migration, European foreign policy, EU enlargement and neighborhood policies and Romanian contemporary history and politics. Her books include two co-edited volumes with Federiga Bindi, The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Europe’s Role in the World (second updated edition; Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2012) and The Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem? (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2011), as well as a co-edited volume with Sergiu Gherghina and Paul Flather entitled Facets of Migration in Contemporary Europe: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Specific Chal- lenges (Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag 2010). Federiga Bindi is a tenured Professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, where she also serves as the Director and Jean Monnet Profes- sor at the European Center of Excellence, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the School of Advanced Interna- tional Studies (SAIS)-Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. Federiga Bindi is currently on academic leave to serve as the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. She has published extensively on Italian foreign policy,...

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