The EU's Next Priority After Enlargement? Le défi Americain

The European Union summit that just ended in Copenhagen has more or less settled the EU's future frontiers. Ten new members, from Central Europe and the Mediterranean, will be admitted in 2004. Two other countries, Bulgaria and Romania, can aim for membership three years after that. Turkey, after much huffing and puffing, has had its status as an officially recognized candidate for membership reaffirmed, even if mighty doubts remain as to when it will actually join.

Because this enlargement round is likely to be the last for a long time, if not forever, it is urgent for member states to think seriously about re-writing the EU treaties to deal with the new reality, in terms which will be workable for the long term. In particular, member states will need to think much more radically about developing a strong EU foreign and security policy, for two reasons.

First, enlargement will take the EU right up to the frontier of Russia and the former Soviet Union; if Turkey joins, the EU will extend to the heart of the Middle East as well. Second, the international context in which the EU operates is being transformed by the strategic revolution underway in Washington. For the past 50 years, the EU was largely able to count on a benign partnership with the US in a multilateral context; that assumption no longer holds, even if we do not yet know the extent of America's new unilateralism.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.