20 Years of Reuniting Europe’s East and West: Is the EU Ready for Another “Big Bang” Enlargement?

We would like to invite you to a debate on a topic "20 Years of Reuniting Europe’s East and West: Is the EU Ready for Another “Big Bang” Enlargement?" The debate will take place on Thursday, April 4, from 16:00 to 17:15 h at Prague University of Economics and Business.

In May 2024, the EU will mark the 20th anniversary of its largest enlargement in history, expanding by ten new member states mostly of Central and Eastern Europe. While the “big bang” enlargement undoubtedly boosted Europe’s security, economic power and advanced the spread of democracy across the European continent, integration of the predominantly post-communist and economically weaker countries posed also numerous challenges. Despite the changed context, the EU is now looking to integrate more countries from Eastern and Southeastern Europe with underperforming economies and fragile democratic systems.

What were the main issues in the 2004 enlargement and how did the EU and candidates manage to overcome them? Are there any lessons learned that remain relevant for the current enlargement process? What can the EU do to make the integration of new members as smooth as possible? And why is the continuation of EU enlargement important?

  • Borut Pahor, Former President of the Republic of Slovenia and Founder of the Friends of Western Balkans
  • Bertie Ahern, Former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland
  • Eva Horelová, Deputy Head of Mission of the European Commission Representation to the Czech Republic

Jana Juzová, Senior Research Fellow, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

The debate will take place on the 2nd floor of Rajská budova in the room RB21.

You can register in this registration form

The debate is organized in cooperation with the Czech Chamber of Commerce.

The discussion will be held in English. Light refreshments will be provided after the discussion.

#EU Enlargement #Big Enlargement #20th anniversary

Petra Pospíšilová
Office and Project Coordinator
Ondřej Pešek
Office and Project Manager

EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy
Staroměstské náměstí 4/1
Prague 1 - Staré Město
110 00

tel.: +420 212 246 552
email: europeum@europeum.org