Policy Brief: The Role of the Netherlands in EU Enlargement Processes

June 5th 2019 - 15:20

EU enlargement campaigns have historically been met with caution in the Netherlands at the policy level and by the Dutch society. Through a historical analysis of periods of EU enlargement, it becomes apparent that the Netherlands has often delayed expansion. Despite this, a balanced approach has tended to prevail in these instances, as processes were merely stalled, rather than spoiled. 

Though Dutch skepticism is rooted in legitimate concerns, the extent to which these concerns are invoked does not reflect the realities on the ground. Therefore, the Netherlands should take a balanced approach on EU enlargement, through greater collaboration between government entities, civil society, and media.

In doing so, the Netherlands could assist in ameliorating the image of the EU, and thereby promote its brand of liberal democracy to strengthen democratic processes in EU neighbor countries. With regard to South Eastern European countries, said efforts can serve to counterbalance the rising influence of China, Turkey, and Russia, among others, as well as to increase security and stability on the EU's border, and prevent relapse to conflict.

Read the policy brief here.

Arlinda Rrustemi is a researcher and lecturer on peace and conflict studies. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Leiden University in the Netherlands. In 2016, Arlinda defended her doctoral thesis, entitled "State-Building through Life Stories: Incorporating Local Perspectives”, which was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). She holds a B.A. (cum laude) from the University College Roosevelt and an LL.M. degree in Public International Law from Utrecht University. She teaches on humanitarian intervention, peacebuilding, power instruments and multilateral organizations, and is involved in several research projects uncovering peace infrastructures and countering radicalization.