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The EU should enlarge to the Western Balkans now

The EU needs a new policy towards the Western Balkans. It should enlarge to all countries of the region now if it wants to prevent other powers from taking advantage. Left without a concrete prospect of joining the EU, the countries of the Western Balkans are becoming less European and less democratic. The European Union […]

Role model no more

To mark the start of the six-month EU Council presidency of Slovenia, a grandiose musical and ballet performance was arranged on Lake Bled. This reminded me of my own very first visit to Slovenia, which was also linked to music, though with a much more modest profile. As an unassuming clarinet player in the wind […]

Fixing the ethics of enlargement

The EU’s current approach to enlargement reflects ethical positions that are seemingly promoting a utilitarian, meritocratic and deontological understanding of European integration. But what if the flaws the EU and Western Balkans currently face in their relationship had to do with more these ethics of enlargement than the accession methodology itself? We Europeans take pride […]

Elections in Lithuania: an anti-populist turn?

Lithuania, like many other countries in East-Central Europe, is on a borderline between a so-called limited-access system marked by a hybrid or authoritarian type of rule and an open-access system characterised by vibrant civil society, universalist ethic values and strong democratic institutions The legislative election in October 2020 has been a litmus test indicating which […]

EU and the Western Balkans: more than goodwill to speed up enlargement

The Communication on EU-enlargement policy presented by the European Commission on 6 October is encouraging for the countries of the Western Balkans. Together with the EC’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and the Covid-19 recovery plan, it shows a great deal of goodwill. The country reports consist of concrete analyses based on […]