palacio157_ Thierry MonasseGetty Images_eu flags Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Is Europe Too Big for Further Enlargement?

The promise of EU accession is considered a powerful mechanism for strengthening stability, democracy, and prosperity across Europe, and there are now nine recognized candidates for membership. But the EU institutions are struggling to chart a common vision for 27 member states, so how can they possibly accommodate as many as 36?

MADRID – Earlier this month, the European Union celebrated the 20th anniversary of its biggest-ever enlargement, which brought ten new members into the bloc. That event remains a potent reminder of the EU’s potential to advance peace and unity across the European continent. But, at a time of deep internal divisions and an increasingly volatile external environment, the giddy idealism of 2004 seems a distant dream, and the prospects of further enlargement appear uncertain.