The German government faces a weighty decision: Should it block France from providing cheap energy to its industrial companies? Or should it introduce its own electricity subsidy for its struggling industrial sector? The decision will show us if Berlin is ready to embrace an economic Zeitenwende.
Ireland is regarded as having benefited enormously from its 50 years as an EU member state. While Dublin is overwhelmingly supportive of enlargement, there could still be tensions ahead over issues related to the budget and changes to the EU institutions.
After 10 years, China’s Belt and Road Initiative has done little to achieve its original aim of better integrating the People’s Republic’s western periphery. That might change in its second decade, with Beijing paying more attention to routes that circumvent Russia.
Greece has historically perceived the EU enlargement policy as an enabling framework for the advancement of its national preferences. This is likely to remain the case today.
Overall, Europeans are in favor of a bigger European Union. However, there are huge differences when it comes to individual countries and whether or not it requires reforms.
After a lost decade-and-a-half that saw the establishment of German predominance, there is now the acute danger of Berlin and Paris applying rejected ideas to enlarging and reforming the EU: Four principles for a future-oriented EU expansion and adaptation.
Can an unfair election campaign produce a fair result? After Hungary and Turkey, Poland, too, might drift deeper into illiberalism.
Before the question of how to enlarge the European Union comes the question: What kind of EU are we enlarging?
The current security situation in Europe has brought enlargement back on the agenda. This should also provide the catalyst for EU reform.
Since the start of Russia’s full-scale war, Poland has been one of the strongest advocates of integrating Ukraine into the EU. But is it ready to accept the various consequences of such a move?
Countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom have enshrined climate goals into national law. What happens if they miss them?
The process of EU enlargement and reform is starting in earnest. The Europeans need to seize the opportunity to make the European Union fit for the 21st century.