This monograph aims to provide an overview of the European Union’s enlargement policy and how it has affected its membership.

It is the product of scientific research conducted within the Jean Monnet Module ‘EU-Western Balkans Cooperation on Justice and Home Affairs’ (EUWEB, 2019–2022) and the Jean Monnet Chair ‘Promoting Public Awareness on Enlargement Policy, EU Values and the Western Balkans’ Accession’ (EUVALWEB, 2022–2025).

The work analyzes the systematic role of enlargement policy in the legal order of the Union (Chapter I), after which it looks at the regulatory bases and application practices that have helped to identify the conditions of membership (Chapter II). The work begins with the various accession processes, which explain the motivations behind this research (Introduction). However, the latter draws attention to a difference between pre- and post-enlargement that the Court of Justice similarly denounced, demanding adherence to Article 2 TEU as the cornerstone of the Union’s and its members’ identity (Chapter III). In conclusion, the book evaluates potential enlargement options that combine treaty reform and accession, based on suggestions made by some European institutions and Member States (Chapter IV).

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