Common test

The suggested ideas for the internal reformation of the EU will require political wisdom to advance it into an organism capable of facing the challenges of the XNUMXst century. This will require political leaders to understand the importance of national compromises that must be made for the advancement of the EU as a whole. In this sense, ironically, the EU member states find themselves today before the same test as the countries of the Western Balkans

For a long time, the EU enlargement process has been in free fall. The major enlargement of 2004 has been blamed (unfairly) by many member states as the source of the EU's internal problems. Likewise, a number of consecutive crises such as financial, migration, BREXIT and the growth of European populist parties have forced the EU to turn back on itself. As a result, the enlargement process has been put into moratorium. Often the EU's main decision-making body, the EU Council, has found itself in political deadlock due to the EU's lack of political will to advance the enlargement process. Over time, even the position of Commissioner for Enlargement began to lose its political weight. Being appointed Commissioner for Expansion was an indication that your career is going in the wrong direction. All this lack of internal EU political interest in enlargement produced consequences for the countries of the Western Balkans. Albania and North Macedonia failed to open membership negotiations despite meeting all established criteria. Likewise, Kosovo was unable to obtain visa liberalization despite fulfilling all the respective criteria. Bosnia shared the same fate by not receiving the status of a candidate country.

Only after the Russian invasion of Ukraine did the EU wake up from its two-decade slumber and recognize again the importance of the enlargement process for the security and stability of the entire European continent. From Chancellor Scholz and President Macron, to the President of the EU Council, Mr. Michel, and the president of the European Commission, Mrs. Von der Leyen, everyone today speaks in sync about the importance and urgency of enlargement.