Kleine-Brockhoff: There is Still Strong Support for EU Enlargement in Germany
Interview with Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, vice president and director of the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. The interview was conducted during GMF Brussels Forum 2019, which was held on 27-29 June in the Belgian capital.
European Western Balkans: Germany was one of the most important supporters of the EU enlargement in the past. Do you think this has changed in the last couple of years? Has the support towards enlargement diminished in Germany?
Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff: The overall environment has changed. We have a more fragmented EU and an outlook for a more fragmented EU, given the current state with populism and nationalism. For nationalism, enlargement is an anathema. The rise of nationalism in Europe and in the Western Balkans is a systemic problem to the EU.
That said, I am a little bit surprised that support is still strong in the policy community. You could have imagined a declining support given the environment, but I do not see that.