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Lecture | Seminar

A new impetus for EU enlargement?

  • Mr. Mark Jorna (Senior expert in Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations)
Friday 12 May 2023
EU Seminar
P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden

The last enlargement of the EU happened 10 years ago, when a single country (Croatia) became member of the EU. Since then, the EU has lost one member, and the progress towards accession of the other candidate and potential candidate countries has been glacial, blocked by internal and external ‘enlargement fatigue’. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia joined the accession queue, with Ukraine and Moldova immediately being granted the status of membership candidates, quickly followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina.  

How will the EU handle the changed geopolitical weight of enlargement while maintaining the integrity of the accession process? Has the war in Ukraine changed the enlargement dynamics substantively or only symbolically? Will the new enlargement methodology speed up the process or prolong it? How important is the rule of law and fighting corruption for countries that want to join the EU, and what can the EU really do about it? What does accelerated integration mean in the accession negotiation mandates?  

In this talk, Mr. Marc Jorna, Senior expert in the Western Balkans Policy and Regional Strategy unit of DG NEAR, offers a glimpse of the enlargement process from inside the European Commission. Mr. Jorna joined the Commission in 2005 and has served in different reas, including Competition, Development cooperation, Administration, Education and Culture, Communication, Justice, and Enlargement. Before joining the Commission he spent several years as the Legal Counsel of the Dutch Permanent Representation to the EU, including as a member of the Dutch negotiation team for the EUs Constitutional Treaty. Mr. Jorna is also an alumni of Leiden University.

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