Wed. 7th September saw the kickoff, in Brussels, of the Copenhagen Revisited Project by FEPS and the European Forum, with the support of the Dutch foundations Wiardi Beckman Stichting and Alfred Mozer Stichting. The objective of this project is to critically assess the EU enlargement process of South East European (SEE) countries and Turkey. This first seminar focused on the lessons learned from previous enlargement rounds. Amongst other findings, the necessity of both strong accession and post-accession strategies was particularly highlighted. The increased trade among new member states and their strong advocacy for further enlargement towards the Western Balkans was most welcome. A special emphasis was put on the fact that in some countries citizens’ interests were better met by the EU and this has created a crucial pressure on governments, for example in fighting corruption or organized crime. Amongst the negative points, the weak implementation capacity of the new Member States was principally pointed out. A special panel was assigned to talk about the difficulties concerning the situation of Roma in the region.
The full report will be available soon. All these discussions will become an integral part of a book published at the end of the project in June 2012.