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Visitors in EU enlargement section of museum

Debate – Towards European Union’s enlargement in 2030?

30 May 2024, 19.30-21.00 (CEST)
House of European History, Rue Belliard / Belliardstraat 135, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

On Thursday 30th of May from 19.30 to 21.00, the House of European History is organising a roundtable debate on EU enlargement in 2030, in partnership with DeBuren and Europahuis.

What are the main arguments for and against enlargement, and how do various countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, position themselves within this debate?

On what timescale is the accession of new member states desirable and realistic? How do the criteria for accession relate to the EU's interest in expanding: are the conditions too strict or just not strict enough? What can we learn from the history of enlargement? How have enlargement talks progressed during the Belgian presidency?

These questions will be debated with a panel of experts from the Netherlands, Belgium and Romania: 

  1. Wouter Zweers

    Research fellow at the Clingendael Institute

  2. Corina Stratulat

    PhD, Associate Director and Head of European Politics and Institutions Programme at the European Policy Centre

  3. Lien Jansen

    PhD Researcher at KU Leuven Public Governance Institute

Register & guided tours

Book your ticket for the debate via the deBuren website.

Before the debate, the House of European History proposes a special guided tour from 18.30 to 19.15 on the theme of EU Integration. If you would like to join, please register online.

The panel debate and guided tour will be in English.

Background information

EU council president Charles Michel caused a stir in 2023 when he said the Union should be ready to welcome new member states by 2030. To some people, EU enlargement may seem like a straightforward decision from a geopolitical point of view, but for others, Europe’s internal situation makes enlargement a much less logical step. On the one hand, there are calls for reform of the Union; on the other hand, in many member states, a national-oriented political wind is blowing. 

1 May 2024 will mark exactly 20 years since the European Union expanded to include 10 new member states at the same time. In recent years, the debate on enlargement has been at a low ebb, even though there are seven countries in the waiting room. But since the war in Ukraine and the beleaguered country´s candidate membership, the discussion is very much alive. According to polls, European Elections (6-9 June) will result in a significantly altered political composition of the European Parliament. What influence could this have on the progress of enlargement?