Event: The Costs of Non-Enlargement of the EU

Europe can not afford another enlargement failure

2 November 2023

On 30 October 2023, a Visegrad Insight Breakfast brought together a group of ambassadors, diplomats and experts to discuss the potential costs of EU non-enlargement.

The meeting was inspired by a draft report outlining the findings of a foresight project led by Visegrad Insight – Res Publica Foundation –  and ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, which assembled a group of over 40 scholars and fellows from the EU as well as the broader neighbourhood. The report focuses on four scenarios regarding the costs of enlargement or non-enlargement of the EU; the full version will be published at the beginning of 2024. The discussion was led by Wojciech Przybylski and Jan Farfał, authors of the report.

As mentioned by participants, enlargement will have a different impact on each EU country. Unlike in the past, the future enlargement is now a proactive response to address instability in the neighbourhood and global tensions arising from armed conflicts, climate change, demographic shifts and democratic changes.

Everything indicates that Poland’s new opposition-led government will support the EU’s enlargement agenda, and this new government should take shape no later than mid-December.

We believe that enlargement should proceed, but at the same time, it should be linked with certain values, such as the rule of law.

The topic of treaty change negotiations has come up repeatedly in the discussion, as it is seen as one of the pathways to the future enlargement of the EU.

There are many potential solutions, though not necessarily easy to implement. We shouldn’t view this as a black-and-white choice between treaty change or no treaty change

The VISEGRAD INSIGHT BREAKFAST (VIB) format invites a select group of ambassadors, diplomats, experts and journalists for off-the-record monthly meetings with a Central European perspective. 


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