Dear Mr Gariazzo,
This discussion will be on 'EU enlargement after Russia's invasion of Ukraine' with Laura Ahrens, Head of the EU External Policies Division in the German Federal Foreign Office, Heather Grabbe, Senior Advisor at the Open Society European Policy Institute, and Andreas Metz, Head of Public Affairs at the German Eastern Business Association.
The war in Ukraine and the country’s application to join the EU have provided fresh impetus to the debate over EU enlargement. Member-states are considering allowing the Western Balkans to join the Union, and Georgia and Moldova, fearing Putin’s territorial ambitions, have also formally applied for membership. The EU is divided over the issue. Opponents of enlargement think it necessary to deepen integration before widening the circle of EU member-states, or worry that any accession promise would be empty in light of the many hurdles on the way to membership. Proponents, meanwhile, make the case that opening up EU membership is not only a geopolitical interest but also a moral obligation for the Union. How should the EU approach political and economic relations with its Eastern neighbourhood? Is a coherent approach possible? How realistic are accession prospects for the countries in question? What should we make of President Macron’s proposal of a “political community”?
The speakers will make some introductory remarks on the subject, after which Luigi Scazzieri, Senior Research Fellow at the CER, will moderate a Q&A discussion with the audience. The whole event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.