What is the future of EU enlargement? Analysing the public debates. What are the implications for the Western Balkans?

WPS06/23 Wilton Park Conference
Wilton Park
Monday 19 June – Wednesday 21 June 2006



In association with the European Stability Initiative

With the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation

Click here to view this document as a PDF file in A4 format. To download the PDF file to your computer, right-click here, select "Save Link/Target As..." in the contextmenu and choose a destination on your hard disk. If you are having problems opening this PDF file, please click here for help. Please note that the PDF version of this document also contains footnotes that are not used in its web version.

MONDAY 19 JUNE 2006

1500

1

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION: CONFERENCE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

Chris LANGDON
South-East Europe Director, Wilton Park, UK

1510-1545

 

SETTING THE CONTEXT:

THE EU AND THE FUTURE OF ENLARGEMENT IN SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE

Was 2005 a decisive break in a half century of European Union expansion? How are current debates on the future of the EU changing incentives for candidates and potential candidates in South Eastern Europe? How to make a fresh and convincing case that further enlargement is beneficial not only for countries that want to join – an argument on which there is today little disagreement - but also for citizens of current EU member states?

Gerald KNAUS
President, European Stability Initiative, Berlin and Istanbul

1545-1700

2

THE IMAGE OF PREVIOUS ENLARGEMENTS

Enlargement has always been hotly debated and subject to numerous political calculations. This was the case with British entry, with Greece, with the Iberian enlargement and certainly with the most recent round that saw 10 new members join in 2004. Perceptions of the 2004 accession vary from "imperial overreach" to "an amazing success". How is the image of the success, failures and costs of previous enlargement rounds impacting current debate? Who creates these images: European institutions, national media, the academic community? What factors are will affect popular and elite perceptions in the coming years?

Peter LUDLOW
Chairman of EuroComment, Founding Director, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels

Katinka BARYSH
Chief Economist, Centre for European Reform, London

1700-1745

 

Photograph and Tea/Coffee

1745-1900

 

THE EASTERN BALKAN ENLARGEMENT - BULGARIA AND ROMANIA: SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF EUROPEANISATION

Has "member state building" worked in the Eastern Balkans, and what are possible implications of this experience for the Western Balkans? What impact have EU instruments had in these countries since both became candidates in 1997? The Commission’s recent assessment was critical of Bulgaria and highlighted numerous shortcomings in Romania, contributing to an image of two SEE countries about to join the EU without meeting EU standards. What is going to be the impact of the accession of both countries on the debate on the future of enlargement?

Short Overview:

Kristof BENDER
Senior Analyst, European Stability Initiative, Vienna

Jonathan SCHEELE
Head of Delegation, European Commission, Bucharest

Juliana NIKOLOVA
Director, European Institute, Sofia

1915

1945

 

Drinks Reception

Dinner

TUESDAY 20 JUNE 2006

0915-1015

3

THE EU AND THE FUTURE OF ENLARGEMENT IN SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE

"The most surprising feature of the current debate in Europe is that enlargement – the most impressive success of the union – has been turned into its most vulnerable spot." as Ivan Krastev has recently written. What then is the fresh and compelling case that further enlargement is beneficial, not only for countries that want to join – on which there is relatively little disagreement today - but is also a convincing argument to citizens of the current EU member states?

Ivan KRASTEV
Executive of the International Commission on the Balkans, Chairman of the Board and Research Director, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia

1015 - 1045

 

Coffee/Tea

1045 - 1215

4

ANATOMY OF THE ENLARGEMENT DEBATE IN POST-REFERENDUM EUROPE –VISIONS OF FUTURE ENLARGEMENT

Is there, in fact, a European debate on the future of enlargement, or is it better to start from 25 national debates, all following their own logic and focusing on different issues? Will calls for referenda on enlargement grow in strength, and with what consequence?

Is today’s French scepticism of further enlargement fundamentally different from that in the past? What is the structure and what are the main concerns in the French debate? What can one expect from the German EU presidency in light of current debates on enlargement among the German policy elite? Have the Netherlands, long a supporter of EU enlargement, changed side as a result of the 2005 referendum or is the policy of "strict and fair" the basis for a solid and lasting political consensus? What insights are offered by analyses of debates in smaller EU member states: Belgium, Austria, Greece? Is Greek elite support to both Balkan and Turkish enlargement likely to continue?

Ulrike GUÉROT (on France and Germany)
Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin

Gerald KNAUS (on the Netherlands)
President, European Stability Initiative, Istanbul

Discussants:

Thomas ANTOINE (on Belgium)
Director, South East Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brussels

Michael CHRISTIDES (on Greece)
Director, Department for South East Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Athens

1215 – 1330

 

Lunch

1330 – 1500

5

BREAK-OUT GROUPS

AGENDA 2007: REALISM AND AMBITIOUS GOALS

  • What are the major obstacles resulting from internal European debates on the future of enlargement that leaders in South East Europe have identified? What are their strategies to address them?
  • What is an ambitious but realistic EU accession agenda for the South East Europe over the next 18 months, to the end of 2007? Where does each government in SEE hope to stand by the end of 2007 along the sequence SAA, candidate status, negotiations? What factors will determine whether these goals can be achieved?

1)   CROATIA, MACEDONIA (Candidate countries)

  • How are accession talks with Croatia affected by the current enlargement debate? Is Croatia’s accession likely to force a revision of the Nice Treaty, opening the doors for further Western Balkan enlargements?
  • What is the impact of the current EU debate on Macedonia’s target dates for the start of negotiations and possible accession?
  • What do Croatia and Macedonia plan to do to address enlargement scepticism in EU Member states? How solid is domestic support in both countries to the accession agenda?

Chair:

Kristof BENDER
Senior Analyst, European Stability Initiative, Vienna

Dario MIHELIN
Adviser to the Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Zagreb

Dragan TILEV
State Counsellor, Secretariat for European Affairs, Skopje

2) SERBIA (Potential candidate)

  • Is there a solid enough consensus for the reforms required for progress towards the EU in Serbia? What is the relationship between the resolution of Kosovo status and Serbia’s progress towards the EU in the coming 18 months?
  • What would it take for Serbia to catch up with Macedonia? Is is realistic for Serbia – assuming the Mladic problem is resolved – to conclude its SAA and gain candidate status in the coming year?

Chair:

Tim JUDAH
Freelance Journalist, London

Tanja MIŠČEVIĆ
Director, European Integration Office, Government of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade

Milan PAJEVIĆ
Acting Chairman of the Advisory Board, International and Security Affairs Centre, ISAC Fund, Belgrade

3) ALBANIA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (Potential candidates)

  • What plans exist to address current scepticism in the EU?
  • Given the image of both countries in the EU, is there a risk that they will remain "potential candidates" for another decade?
  • Are the two governments likely to submit membership applications within the next 18 months?
  • What is the relationship between state building and EU integration in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Is there still a choice for the EU between "Empire" and "enlargement"?

Chair:

Verena KNAUS
Senior Analyst, European Stability Initiative, Berlin

Ditmir BUSHATI
Director, Directorate of Approximation of Legislation, Ministry of European Integration, Tirana

Igor DAVIDOVIĆ
Chief Negotiator for Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), and Ambassador at Large, Council of Ministers, Sarajevo

Osman TOPČAGIĆ
Director, Directorate for European Integration, Council of Ministers, Sarajevo

1500 – 1530

 

Tea/Coffee

1530 - 1700

6

GROUP REPORT BACK – WESTERN BALKAN STRATEGIES AND THE EUROPEAN ENLARGEMENT DEBATE

1700 – 1730

 

Tea/Coffee

1730 - 1830

7

TURKEY AND EU ACCESSION: HAS THE DEBATE CHANGED? AT WHAT COST?

Turkey has been one of the biggest success stories of reforms inspired by a vision of EU accession. Are current tensions the expected problems on a long road towards a clear destination or are they signs of deeper problems? What is the likelihood of a dramatic fall-out in the course of the coming 18 months? What would be the impact of such a fall-out on Turkey and on the European enlargement debate? What is the Turkish government and what are other Turkish institutions doing to address concerns about Turkish accession in EU member states?

Sinan ÜLGEN
Chairman, Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM), Istanbul

Mensur AKGÜN
Chair, Department of International Relations, Istanbul Kültür University (IKU), Foreign Policy Director, TESEV, Istanbul

1830 -1900

8

CONCLUDING SESSION – WHICH WAY FORWARD FOR THE EUROPEAN DEBATE ON ENLARGEMENT?

1915

2030

 

Dinner

Drinks Reception

WEDNESDAY 21 JUNE

International participants depart.



Click here to view this document as a PDF file in A4 format. To download the PDF file to your computer, right-click here, select "Save Link/Target As..." in the contextmenu and choose a destination on your hard disk. If you are having problems opening this PDF file, please click here for help. Please note that the PDF version of this document also contains footnotes that are not used in its web version.
Share: What are these?
About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com