From Neighbourhood to Integration Policy: are there concrete Alternatives to Enlargement?
There are concrete alternatives to
Enlargement. As there must be. Enlargement has been a key tool in projecting
stability across our continent. But it is a reality that the EU cannot expand
ad infinitum – everything has its limits. We must honour our present basic
commitments, while strictly insisting on the criteria.
One of these criteria is our own absorption
capacity – it is clear that in some Member States the pace and scale of
enlargement is approaching the limits of what public opinion will accept. To
overstretch, rather than consolidate, the Union would be detrimental not only
for us but also our partners. These are all issues with which our leaders will
struggle in Vienna in a few months’ time.