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EU enlargement: How should the EU respond to aspiring new members - the case of Georgia and the “Associated Trio” countries
There are many points that can provide a good start for a conversation on the future of Europe in the world. European Union enlargement is an obvious one since it encapsulates more than any other topic the interaction between the processes going on inside the European Union, with those outside of it.
It is discussed often in response to questions that go to the heart of the European project: Should the EU be considering new members, or should it consolidate first?
What makes a country European? The question, ‘where does Europe end?’, has been asked repeatedly over the last three decades but never properly answered. Is it possible to understand and define the place of Europe in the world without answering first this question?
Lange Voorhout 43, Den Haag
Event reportThe opinions and views expressed by participants during the conversation: “In 1992 the question arose, ‘Where does Europe end?’ It has not been properly answered yet” “The EU needs to keep the membership perspective open” “Early and generous accession rather than paternalistic lecturing can be more effective in securing commitment to European values” “Any membership perspective must be realistic, otherwise it may lead to more frustration. It is most likely to span over a generation, which is why it is important to work with young people” “The trio countries are doing their best, now they need some encouragement” “Some EU countries do not want more problems with Russia” “EU should help the trio countries in areas such as disinformation and cyber security” “EU should start differentiating between EaP members to recognise the efforts of the ‘Associated Trio’” “We should not take differentiation too far” “We must come up with new ways to recognise and appreciate the commitment of the trio countries” “We need to be careful not to allow a Russian or Chinese Trojan Horse into the EU” “EU needs to be careful not to become a periphery of Eurasia” “There is a crisis in liberal democracy, and the quicker Europe deals with that the better” “The EU never seems to win the narrative battle” “The EU is still in the process of reinventing itself from being the club of a few countries in western Europe to being a continent-wide Union with the diversity that that entails”
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