Koeth, Wolfgang (2011) The Continuous Challenge of Enlargement. EIPAscope 01/2011. EIPAScope, 2011 (1). pp. 59-62. ISSN 1025-6253
The ‘big bang’ enlargement of 2004, followed by the accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007, has profoundly altered the way the European Union functions. But with hindsight, it turned out that none of the often apocalyptic scenarios predicted before 2004 has materialised: neither was the EU-15 widely swamped with a flood of migrants from its new member countries, nor was the EU budget blooded to death, nor have its structures become paralysed. However, public opinion – and thus politicians – in the old member states give little credit to enlargement, and there is limited appetite for promoting the accession of further member states. This article tries to analyse the reasons behind the lack of appetite of most EU member states for further enlargement. It will challenge some of the conventional perceptions of enlargement and propose a double approach to get the process back on track: by tackling political challenges from a technical angle and by paying more attention to the perception of enlargement related problems.
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