Romania takes over EU Presidency – what prospects for enlargement in a preoccupied Union?

As of 1 January 2019, Romania will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) from Austria. This presidency comes at a period of increased attention on the enlargement to the Western Balkans, ushered in by the Juncker Commission, and the preceding Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies.

The EU’s next semester will be marked by numerous internal priorities (European Parliament elections, Brexit, the Multiannual Financial Framework negotiations, to name a few), the key question for the Western Balkans is whether the enlargement momentum can be sustained? 

This issue was discussed at a panel discussion on the rotating EU Council Presidency  that was held at the EU Info Centre on 14. December 2018. An event of this kind is traditionally organised by CEP - European Policy Centre semesterly, with the aim of informing the interested public on the achievements of the outgoing presidency, and priorities of the upcoming.

The panel discussion was moderated by Ms Milena Lazarević, CEP Programme Director, while the following panellists joined the debate on this topic: H.E. Mr Sem Fabrizi, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, H.E. Mr Nikolaus Lutterotti, Ambassador of Austria to Serbia, H.E. Oana-Cristina Popa, Ambassador of Romania to Serbia, Prof. Tanja Miščević, Head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of Serbia to the EU, and Mr Srđan Majstorović, Chairman of the CEP Governing Board.

Mr Fabrizi emphasized that the EU wants to preserve the spirit of enlargement in the coming period.

Commenting on whether Serbia should be satisfied with the number of opened chapters during 2018, he commented that it is wrong to focus on the number, because the issue of EU membership is, above all, a matter of quality, not quantity.

“Serbia has made a lot of progress on its path to the EU, but there is still much to be done – first of all in the area of the rule of law. Serbia, like other countries in the region, should continue to work regardless of the developments in the EU next year, as the speed of the enlargement process depends mostly on the member states, “Fabrizi added.

Mr Majstorović emphasized that having in mind the current situation and slow progress in the area of rule of law, as well as relations with other countries in the region, the opening of two chapters is a positive thing.

Find more details on the panel discussion at source page here

 

Geographical focus
  • WBC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on December 27, 2018
Modified on December 28, 2018