Opinion & Analysis

History and identity should not blight the EU’s enlargement policy towards the Western Balkans

The EU must reject any attempt to introduce notions of history and identity into its enlargement policy. Otherwise it risks trampling on its 70 years of experience in overcoming the legacy of the past and promoting a peace project based on reconciliation and the rule of law. Yet this is precisely what is happening with Bulgaria’s veto against the opening of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia.

In March of last year the European Council gave the green light for the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. A date for the first intergovernmental conference to formally launch the negotiations with both countries remains – unfortunately, out of sight.

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