Brief and Analyses

Template 2.0 for Staged Accession to the EU

2 May 2024

The Template for Staged Accession to the EU, introduced in 2021, addresses the stagnant accession process of Western Balkan countries and the need to adapt EU enlargement policy, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This model offers a predictable path for membership candidates, emphasizing internal reforms alongside enlargement. Template 2.0 outlines the model's structure, emphasizing a “fundamentals first” approach and essential elements for policy revision. It proposes two pre-accession stages with increased funding as incentives for reforms. Governance innovations are suggested to restore the EU's foreign policy credibility. Recommendations are made for EU institutions, Member States, and candidates to consider.

Download the European Policy Centre Brief by Milena Mihajlović, Steven Blockmans, Strahinja Subotić, Michael Emerson