The stagnating enlargement processes of the EU: assessing the factor contributing to slowing down of the Western Balkans enlargement through the deepening and widening framework



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Tartu Ülikool


This paper explores the processes of EU enlargement and the external and internal factors which have contributed to the EU expansion haltering. This analysis is informed by the deepening and widening approach to EU enlargement, as well as other integration theories. To evaluate enlargement influences, the current Western Balkan candidate countries progress will be assessed, to assess the EU conditionality appropriateness. The analysis will then discuss the internal causes of enlargement fatigue and absorption capacity to explore factors contributing to increasing enlargement resistance of the EU. This will also be linked to political and identity factors, which contribute to growing Euroscepticism and populism in Europe. This will provide an overview of factors which have impacted the potential for further EU deepening and widening processes.