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Between indifference and hesitation: France and EU enlargement towards the Balkans

Abstract : France’s hesitant stance on EU enlargement towards the Balkans is illustrative of a broader ambivalence among both French elites and citizens towards the European project. Despite principled support for the Balkans’ EU membership, achieving this step is no strategic priority for France. The official approach emphasizes strict conditionality and a rigorous monitoring of reform progress in aspirant countries. A hostile public opinion and superficial media coverage further strengthen the country’s reluctance to admit new, possibly unprepared candidates into the Union. Analysing the historical evolution of the French position on EU enlargement as well as its current political, institutional and societal expressions, this article construes France’s disinvestment from the Balkans’ EU perspective as the result of failed expectations and a growing disillusionment with the EU’s international role and its political future more broadly.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 21, 2022 - 9:28:28 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 9:30:43 AM

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Natasha Wunsch. Between indifference and hesitation: France and EU enlargement towards the Balkans. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2017, 17 (4), pp.541 - 554. ⟨10.1080/14683857.2017.1390831⟩. ⟨hal-03582116⟩

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