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SCEEUS Guest Commentaries – EU Enlargement

As part of the SCEEUS EU Presidency Project, which aims to generate policy input and provide recommendations for the Swedish 2023 EU Presidency, SCEEUS has been commissioning Guest Commentaries from external authors. One critical topic of these is EU enlargement, and the need to reassess and reinvigorate the enlargement process. This effort seeks to guarantee the European future of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, and to safeguard the broader European project and the vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace.

Enlargement as a prerequisite for the future of Europe. Many authors acknowledge the strategic importance of enlargement for Europe’s stability, such as Wojciech Kononczuk and Jaroslava Barbieri, who both call attention to a new strategic vision of enlargement.

Enlargement through security cooperation. Other authors, such as Alexandru Coica and Stanislav Secrieru, point to the need for increased strategic cooperation and integration in the realms of security, defense and resilience for enlargement to succeed. Denis Cenusa, meanwhile, zeroes in on the benefits of cooperation in crisis management and resilient critical infrastructure for both enlargement and regional security and stability.

Enlargement as credible, reformed process. Several authors focus on the need for EU political will and responsibility in adapting the enlargement methodology, including enhancing the transition from candidacy to accession. Michael Emerson and Steven Blockmans address the current enlargement inadequacies and underscore the need for a staged accession process that would enhance the incentives for EU alignment. Kakha Gogolashvili explores options for adjusting the Eastern Partnership (EaP), as well as the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III), and the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI). Alyona Getmanchuk highlights the need for incremental integration elements that both deliver practical results and reinforce the accession process.

The relationship between enlargement and other EU policy tools. One group of authors cover the crucial topic of the interplay between enlargement and other EU instruments. Pavel Havlicek examines the strategic balance and synergy between enlargement and the EaP and the European Political Community (EPC). Both Arkady Moshes and Kristi Raik draw attention to the need to differentiate through individually tailored policies in country-specific strategies.

Enlargement and the role of civil society. Civil society is fundamental for holding governments accountable and ensuring a bottom-up, inclusive, locally anchored enlargement process. Daniela Mussnig thus emphasizes the need for strategic involvement of civil society in monitoring and consultation processes to ensure conditionality and compliance.

Eastern Europe Policy

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