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Points of Clarity | The Journey to EU Membership

January 26, 20241:25

Nine countries aspire to join the European Union, seeking stability, economic growth, and prosperity. The accession process involves comprehensive reforms, promising strengthened institutions, democracy, rule of law, and a transformed economy.

Video Transcript

  • The transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

    There are nine countries who want to get into the European Union, which would greatly increase the membership of the EU, and they are doing so partly because they see the EU as the best way to get the kind of peace and security that they want for the long term and also to grow their economies and bring prosperity to their people.

    It's a big and challenging road that they've set out on. It takes a long time and those countries have to look at every aspect of their economy, the justice systems, how they operate as a nation that needs to smoothly fit into the set of processes that the European Commission has in place and to feel part of the EU.

    It takes years. They will be changed by the end of the process. They will have stronger institutions. They will be more democratically based. They will have a good rule of law and they will have a strong economy. So they will be quite different. The reason they want this model is because that's what they look to. They look to European countries and see that as they've come out of conflict or chaos or challenge, that they want that model.


The Right Honourable Catherine Ashton, Baroness of Upholland

Baroness Catherine Ashton

Slater Family Distinguished Fellow;
Former Vice President of the European Commission and former High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
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Global Europe Program

The Global Europe Program is focused on Europe’s capabilities, and how it engages on critical global issues.  We investigate European approaches to critical global issues. We examine Europe’s relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Our initiatives include “Ukraine in Europe” – an examination of what it will take to make Ukraine’s European future a reality.  But we also examine the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE, Europe’s energy security, transatlantic trade disputes, and challenges to democracy. The Global Europe Program’s staff, scholars-in-residence, and Global Fellows participate in seminars, policy study groups, and international conferences to provide analytical recommendations to policy makers and the media.  Read more