Is Enlargement Dead?
The consensus behind the enlargement of the European Union and NATO is crumbling. The strategic paradigm that guided enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe since the mid 1990s no longer fits today's circumstances. Absent a new narrative and a revised strategy, the historic window for enlarging core Western institutions to new democracies is likely to close.
To some degree, the West is of course a victim of its own success. The EU and NATO are also struggling with "enlargement fatigue." But it would be wrong to attribute the demise of enlargement consensus to these factors. The reasons for the current malaise run deeper and require a change in policy. If enlargement is not to die, we need a new narrative for why enlargement still matters and a new strategy modified to fit today's political and strategic realities.