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Publication . Article . Part of book or chapter of book . 2017

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

Natasha Wunsch;
Open Access

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.

Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 17 (4)

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Political economy Foreign policy Law Political science Ambivalence Resizing


Balkans, Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), EU enlargementFrance, foreign policy, [SHS.SCIPO] Humanities and Social Sciences/Political science, political science; EU enlargement; France; Western Balkans; foreign policy, Balkans, Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), EU enlargementFrance, foreign policy, political science, EU enlargement, France, Western Balkans, Political Science and International Relations, History, [SHS.SCIPO]Humanities and Social Sciences/Political science

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