STOCKHOLM – Strange as it sounds, the European Union’s most successful policy ever has been deeply unpopular in Brussels for the past decade. But now, the view from the bloc’s political and governing institutions is changing. EU enlargement is back on the agenda, and it will remain there.
The EU’s enlargement and evolution has radically changed Europe. The bloc has grown from six members to the current 27. While it was originally meant to facilitate Franco-German reconciliation in the mid-twentieth century, it soon became a vehicle for securing democracy in southern Europe after the fall of the dictatorships in Greece, Portugal, and Spain. And then, after the fall of communism, EU enlargement fundamentally transformed much of Central and Eastern Europe.