In 2024, the EU celebrates the 20th anniversary of its largest enlargement, when ten countries joined the Union. 20 years later, ten more countries aspire to become EU member states. However, their path to accession is much more troubled.

Despite the boost given to the process by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, their prospects of becoming members in the short to medium term are still precarious. It is time to go beyond empty commitments and offer the candidate states a concrete plan.

Two decades after that memorable 1 May 2004, we must reflect on what lessons and inspiration for the future can be drawn from that experience. Today’s EU is aware that the long-awaited new enlargement has to be a different process and that the deepening and widening of the EU need to go hand in hand.

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External influences in the Western Balkans: Where are we at?

Balkan Focus Series

Labour migration from the European periphery to the EU’s core


Labour migration in the Western Balkans

Balkan Focus series

The European Political Community

Informality as a key to success
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16 - 18/04/2024
FEPS HQ (Expert meeting)

Progressive visions for the future of EU enlargement 

21 - 23/03/2024
Pristina, Kosovo (Expert meeting - Hybrid)

Friends of the Western Balkans – Pristina

The interplay between European elections, democracy and enlargement
23 - 25/11/2023
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Expert meeting)

Friends of the Western Balkans – Sarajevo

The path to 2030 for Bosnia-Herzegovina and the region: Credibility and criticalities
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Progressive Post

The Thessaloniki Declaration: more relevant than ever?


A European Confederation: a common political platform for peace

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FEPS celebrates 20 years of the biggest EU enlargement


Interview with Maria João Rodrigues on the need for EU treaty changes with Euronews


Friends of the Western Balkans’ statement

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In the media

EU-VÍZIÓ, Dull Szabolcs újságíró Andor Lászlóval beszélget

by MÚOSZ Magyar Újságírók Országos Szövetsége 11/04/2024
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the EU great Eastern enlargement, FEPS Secretary General László Andor talks, in this video interview to the Hungarian Journalists' Association, the functioning of the Commission and its further development.

The EU pursues make-believe in Bosnia

by Financial Times 23/03/2024
Financial Times featured our policy brief 'Bosnia-Herzegovina', which analyses the journey of BiH's EU membership and the necessary reforms to make it happen

A szociális unió imperatívusza

by Új Egyenlőség 09/09/2023
'The imperative of Social Union'. Article about FEPS book 'Europe’s Social Integration: Welfare Models and Economic Transformations' by László Andor.

Borko Stefanović: Odmah usaglasiti spoljnu politiku sa EU i napraviti od Srbije dobro i sigurno mesto za život

by Danas 26/06/2023
Borko Stefanović, deputy president of the Freedom and Justice Party, participated in the international meeting in Thessaloniki organized by FEPS, the Friends of the Western Balkans and FES
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‘Progressive visions for the future of EU enlargement’ Flickr album

Friends of the Western Balkans. The path to 2030 for Bosnia-Herzegovina and the region

Friends of the Western Balkans Thessaloniki meeting

20 years anniversary of the Thessaloniki Declaration

Call to Europe Prague: Interview with László Andor

Josip Juratovic on Friends of the Western Balkans

Marina Berlinghieri on Friends of the Western Balkans

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Network and Team


Director for Research and Training


Senior Research Fellow and Editor in Chief of the Progressive Post