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On 29 May 2019, the European Commission’s recommendation to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia once again highlighted the question of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans. The failure to reach consensus at European Council level has exposed divergences in Member State positions and has heightened geopolitical competition for influence in the region. It has also raised the question of the EU’s future credibility in the Western Balkans, and the issue of reform of the EU’s accession process. Professor John O’Brennan and Pat Kelly discuss recent developments in the debate.

This event is part of the IIEA’s Future of the EU27 Project, which is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

About the Speaker:

Professor John O’Brennan is Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration and Director of the Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies. He has conducted extensive research into EU Enlargement policy, post-accession processes, ­­­­­­and the EU’s role in the Western Balkans. Pat Kelly is Director of the Enlargement and Western Balkans Unit in the EU Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.