New Approaches to EU Enlargement with Kristof Bender

Vienna Coffee House Conversations with Ivan Vejvoda

In this week's episode, Ivan Vejvoda sits down with European Stability Initiative deputy chairman and Europe's Futures Fellow Kristof Bender to discuss a policy that many point to as among the most successful peace projects in the history of the world: EU enlargement. As the Union decides whether and how quickly to extend EU membership to Ukraine and Molodova and formalize their move towards Europe in response to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kristof and Ivan lead us through the history of the policy and its transformative effect on those countries who have joined the bloc, then ask why the policy seems to have stalled in recent years. Does it make sense to extend membership to new countries for geopolitical reasons? Or should the process be purely meritocratic? Is there a new approach that would offer a clear incentive to candidate countries to make necessary improvements that could sidestep internal EU politics?