- October 24, 2019
On October 24, 2019 the Aspen Institute Germany hosted a roundtable discussion entitled “Resolving the Enlargement Deadlock: Between Rule of Law Deficiencies in the WB6 and the EU’s Absorption Capacity“. Ardita Abazi Imeri, Head of Programs, European Policy Institute (EPI), Milena Lazarević, Programme Director, European Policy Centre (CEP), Arbëresha Loxha, Executive Director, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), Dina Bajramspahić, Researcher, Institut Alternativa (IA), and Thomas Motak, Deputy Head of Division E12, EU External Relations (EU Enlargement, European Neighborhood Policy), German Federal Foreign Office, discussed the rule of law in the region, its integration processes and related reforms as well as the EU’s absorption capacity with staffers of the German Bundestag, experts from civil society, and the interested public. The focus of the discussion was on the methodology of the EU enlargement process and its shortcomings, especially in terms of regional democratization processes and rule of law reforms. After the failure of the European Council to agree on opening EU accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, experts from the Think for Europe Network (TEN) took this opportunity to point out some methodological shortcomings in the process, which especially France had offered concerns about, and proposed potential solutions. These were discussed with Mr. Motak, who emphasized that the German government is in favor of opening accession negotiations with both countries as soon as possible.