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From his childhood in the Warsaw Ghetto to his tragic death in a road accident while working at the European Parliament in 2008, Bronisław Geremek faced many personal, professional and political challenges during a period of constant turbulence. A world-renowned historian, he was interested in the poor, the excluded and the marginalised during the Middle Ages, mainly working as a researcher at the Sorbonne and Warsaw University. The Soviet army’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 marked the start ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), alongside other Western Balkans countries, was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the European Council's Thessaloniki summit of June 2003. BiH applied for EU membership in February 2016. The Commission adopted its opinion on BiH's EU membership application in May 2019, but internal political instability and lack of political reforms have dampened the country's prospects of joining the EU.

This note provides an overview of the implementation rate of Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) issued under the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (see a separate EGOV note for details on the MIP procedure). Figures presented in this overview refer only to Member States experiencing macroeconomic imbalances and are based on the implementation assessments performed by the Commission in its annual Country Reports.

A new approach to EU enlargement

Briefing 11-03-2020

The Thessaloniki Summit (2003) opened the door to a European future for the Western Balkans. However, since then progress towards EU membership has been slow. The countries of the region have struggled to implement economic and political reforms, and the rule of law remains particularly problematic. The 2018 Enlargement Strategy for the Western Balkans gave new impetus to the enlargement policy, offering the six countries of the region a 'credible strategy' through enhanced EU engagement and indicating ...

Operating budgetary balance (OBB) calculations imply that EU spending is a zero-sum game. This feature is inconsistent with the main argument that EU spending creates European added value. Thus, taking simple net operating balances as an indicator of a Member State’s ‘net benefit’ from the Union’s fiscal activities can lead to misleading results, as demonstrated in the following points of argument.

National operating budgetary balances (OBBs) do not take into account all of the economic and non-monetary benefits that Member States gain from EU membership. In many policy areas with cross-border characteristics and demand for critical mass, common action at the EU level may lead to better results than fragmented national initiatives. Several studies show that the Single Market has increased employment and growth. The effect of the Single Market deepening since 1990 has been quantified by 3.6 ...

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) is a policy tool introduced within the reinforced economic governance framework adopted in 2011. The MIP aims at preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances in Member States, with specific attention to imbalances with potential spillovers effects on other Member States.

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May (30 June 2019), but represents only half the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. The compromise found, which maintains unity amongst the EU-27, is esigned to reduce as much as possible the disruptive effects of the ...

EU-27 leaders endorsed the withdrawal agreement and approved the political declaration on future EU-UK relations on 25 November 2018. After last minute statements regarding Gibraltar and clarification on a possible extension to the transition period removed all obstacles. The agreement is due to enter into force on 30 March 2019. President Tajani stressed that the European Parliament ‘welcomes the Political Declaration on the future relationship and regards it as an excellent basis on which to develop ...

On 14 June 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) III as part of a set of external action instruments under the new 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). The proposed financial envelope represents a 1.1 % decrease compared with current funding (€12.9 billion in 2018 prices). Beneficiaries include the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. The IPA, set up for the 2007 to 2013 MFF, aims to prepare ...