Reports 2016

Moving EU enlargement forwards: Why better communication matters

19 September 2016

Enlargement has long been hailed as the EU’s most successful external policy, with countries still aspiring to membership. After a decade of severe institutional, political and economic pressures inside the Union however – as well as daunting challenges facing individual aspirant countries –passion seems to be running out of the relationship. There is a need to convey a positive narrative about enlargement, not only in the light of the recent UK Brexit referendum, but also in the context of the ongoing migration crisis. A more effective way of communicating about enlargement is needed, one that can win back support both in and outside the EU.

In this Policy Dialogue, panellists discussed why continuation and completion of enlargement matters; the main elements of the EU’s current strategic communication on enlargement; and what more can be done to raise awareness about the role of the EU in regional development. They also touched upon how different actors in the EU Member States, the Union and the region can work out their differences of perception about enlargement, and engage more constructively in the promotion of the process. This Dialogue was organised in the framework of the Dutch-Slovak-Maltese Trio Presidency by the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Policy Centre (EPC).

Speakers included: Corina Stratulat Senior Policy Analyst at the EPC; HE Ambassador Ivan Korčok, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs for the Slovak Republic; Simon Mordue, Director for Strategy and Turkey, Directorate General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission; Miodrag Radović, Acting Director General for European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Montenegro; Dušan Reljić, Head of Brussels Office, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP); Tomáš Strážay, Senior Fellow, Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava; Aled Williams, Senior Director, Strategic Communications, FTI Consulting