24 March 2012
ESI in Nice: Does Europe still inspire in the Balkans?
Christian Altfuldisch (left) and Frédéric Lépine, editor of L'Europe en formation. Photo: CIFE
Christian Altfuldisch (left) and Frédéric Lépine, editor of L'Europe en formation. Photo: CIFE

ESI's Christian Altfuldisch was invited to a conference on "Europeanisation after EU accession" organised by the journal L'Europe en Formation, the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE), and CERI-Sciences-Po-CNRS.

Speaking on a panel on "Compliance, Implementation, Application of EU norms", Christian argued that enlargement is the EU's most successful foreign policy but has stalled in the Western Balkans. This leaves the poorest part of the continent isolated and without a clear perspective when, ironically, the accession process itself would best build its capacity to meet EU standards. The recent visa liberalisation process has shown what EU conditionality can achieve when it is conducted in a transparent manner, creating healthy competition among peers. Launching a joint pre-accession process, modelled on this experience, for all the countries of the region would help to apply conditionality to best effect. Christian also referred to ESI's campaign to achieve visa free travel for Turkey.

Other speakers included George Tzogopoulos, Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy, ELIAMEP, Athens, Nikos Papakostas, Institute for Security and Defence Analysis, Athens, and Katrin Böttger, Institute for European Politics, Berlin.

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