The EU's Slow, Selective Membership Growth

Jan 28, 2013 | 11:16 GMT

The EU's Slow, Selective Membership Growth
Pro-EU demonstrators in Belgrade

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images


Despite the ongoing economic crisis, the European Union will continue to expand its membership, albeit more slowly and more selectively. EU accession remains an important foreign policy objective for several countries, especially Western Balkan countries, but endemic institutional and political obstacles will complicate their respective membership bids. Further complicating these countries' accession plans is the fact that the European Union simply does not have as great a strategic interest in them as it did in the countries that entered the union during previous enlargement periods. In any case, political fragmentation has curbed much of the bloc's desire to enlarge further.

The bloc will be more discerning as it chooses new members....

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