This page was archived on October 2020.


Wider Europe

The EU has an ambitious and comprehensive agenda in the Wider Europe – a diverse area that includes the Western Balkans, Turkey and the ex-Soviet republics covered by the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Since the eastern enlargement of the 1990s and the early 2000s, the EU’s goals have been to build stability, encourage democratic transformation, and enhance governance and economic development through the export of the EU’s own model of integration embedded in its political norms and, more specifically, the acquis communautaire. For their part, most countries in the Wider Europe want improved access to the EU’s markets, territory, resources and decision-making. These aspirations in the Wider Europe in turn empower the EU to wield its most powerful tool: conditionality, whether tied to accession or other forms of advanced co-operation.

However, while the EU’s objectives have remained consistent, popular support for deeper engagement with the Wider Europe has steadily declined since 2004 and especially with the economic crisis in 2008. The euro crisis has exacerbated tensions between the EU’s centre and periphery and dashed the already-shrinking enthusiasm for expansion. This shift is particularly evident in core countries such as France and Germany. Opposition to Turkish accession is strong, with both centre-right governments in Paris and Berlin arguing in favour of a “privileged partnership” rather than full membership for the largest and arguably most important country in the Wider Europe. These member states see internal consolidation as the number one priority while others – such as the new member states from central and eastern Europe, Finland, Sweden and the UK – believe that enlargement should not lose momentum, although even enlargement enthusiasts have recently opted for greater caution. These divisions undermine the effectiveness of the EU’s policy towards its “near abroad”, which depends above all on the credibility of the EU’s offers and its “integration capacity”.




Western Balkans - Grade: B
Category Unity Resources Impact Total Grade
40 - Rule of law and human rights in the Western Balkans 3/5 4/5 6/10 13/20 B
41 - Stabilisation of Kosovo 3/5 4/5 7/10 14/20 B+
42 - Stabilisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 4/5 2/5 2/10 8/20 C
43 - Visa liberalisation with the Western Balkans 4/5 5/5 9/10 18/20 A


Turkey - Grade: C-
Category Unity Resources Impact Total Grade
44 - Bilateral relations with Turkey 2/5 2/5 1/10 5/20 D+
45 - Rule of law and human rights in Turkey 3/5 2/5 2/10 7/20 C-
46 - Relations with Turkey on the Cyprus question 3/5 1/5 1/10 5/20 D+
47 - Relations with Turkey on regional issues 2/5 3/5 2/10 7/20 C-


Eastern Neighbourhood - Grade: C+
Category Unity Resources Impact Total Grade
48 - Rule of law and human rights in the Eastern Neighborhood 3/5 2/5 2/10 7/20 C-
49 - Relations with the Eastern Neighborhood on trade and energy 5/5 4/5 5/10 14/20 B+
50 - Visa liberalisation with the Eastern Neighborhood 3/5 2/5 5/10 10/20 C+
51 - Resolution of the Transnistrian dispute 3/5 2/5 2/10 7/20 C-
52 - Resolution of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia dispute 3/5 2/5 4/10 9/20 C+
53 -Resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute 4/5 2/5 2/10 8/20 C