Sailing on High Seas: Reforming and Enlarging the EU for the 21st Century

The non-governmental expert group on EU institutional reform presented their report on how to prepare the EU for enlargement on 19 September 2023 to Laurence Boone (French Secretary of State for European Affairs) and Anna Lührmann (German State Minister for Europe and Climate), who had commissioned the report on 23 January 2023. 

Two observations underlie the report of the experts. The first is that the inclusion of new Member States is a geostrategic imperative – the stability of the continent and the security of the EU and candidate countries require rapid progress in this area, whatever the scale of the task. The second is that the EU’s institutions, policies, and budget must be reformed before any further enlargement, or at the very moment of the next one. The expert group makes reform proposals, both in the short- and in the long-term, aimed at increasing the EU's capacity to act, strengthening rule of law and democratic legitimacy, and getting the institutions enlargement-ready. Highlighting that reforms are necessary for enlargement, the report outlines different paths to Treaty change and proposes that certain states move forward at different speeds, depending on their willingness to reform.  

The Group of Twelve from France and Germany is composed of our Senior Policy Fellow Thu Nguyen (Jacques Delors Centre) as well as Daniela Schwarzer (Bertelsmann Foundation), Shahin Vallée (DGAP), Nicolai von Ondarza (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik), Olivier Costa (CNRS CEVIPOF), Pervenche Berès (Fondation Jaurès), Funda Tekin (Institut für Europäische Politik), Christine Verger (Institut Jacques Delors), Sophia Russack (Centre for European Policy Studies), Franz Mayer (Universität Bielefeld), Gilles Gressani (Grand Continent) and Gaëlle Marti (Université de Lyon III). 

Read the full report here.