The EU Staged Accession Model was first published in autumn 2021, following the European Commission’s publication of the revised enlargement methodology and continued stagnation in the EU accession process. accession of the Western Balkan countries. The need to adapt the EU’s enlargement policy has become even more pronounced since Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine. The geopolitical imperative of EU enlargement has prompted many proposals, but “staged accession” remains the only model that offers a predictable path forward for all present and future accession candidates, alongside internal reforms aimed at the proper functioning of an enlarged EU.
EThe result of extensive consultations and a series of in-depth discussion papers on specific elements of the model, this revised Model 2.0 presents a comprehensive proposal on how to change the EU’s current accession policy. It presents the overall structure of the tiered accession model, with new specifications on the EU’s ‘fundamentals first’ approach. It sets out the “essential elements” of the proposal, which the authors consider to be the bare minimum that a new revision of enlargement policy should involve in order to achieve the objectives of the model.
This article is published as part of the ‘Support for the further development of the model of progressive accession of the Western Balkans to the European Union‘, a collaboration between CEPS and the European Policy Center (CEP), based in Belgrade.