Aktuelles > EM Germany Newsletter April 2024 | 20 years of EU enlargement

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EM Germany Newsletter April 2024 | 20 years of EU enlargement

We are celebrating 20 years of EU enlargement. On the 1st of May, 2004, the European Union expanded by 10 member states. The fifth and largest round of enlargement to date, brought countries from the Mediterranean to the Baltic sea into the European community. With the „eastward enlargement“, the division of Europe was finally overcome, 15 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

20 years later, this round of enlargement is considered a great success, which we will celebrate together with the House of Representatives, the EAB and many other partners with a festive reception on April 29. The integration of the new member states into the core values of the European community resulted in their lasting democratization. However, where there is light, there is usually also shadow: The so-called „democratic backsliding“ in some countries, such as Hungary, is not only causing headaches in Brussels, but also for all actors who are committed to democracy and the rule of law. A closer look at our eastern neighbors brings relief: with Donald Tusks’s election success, Poland is very likely to achieve a democratic „turn-around“, which is also supported by our sister organization, the European Movement Poland.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has given new impuls to the EU‘s enlargement policy. The latest step being the imminent start of accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina. You can find an overview of the current status of EU enlargement in our updated #EBD graphic.

We, as the European Movement Germany, seek to consistently drive the enlargement of the European community forward and offer the new potential members the prospects they deserve. Of course, the framework conditions – the Copenhagen Criteria – must be adhered to. However, this also includes a clear mandate for the EU to adapt its treaties so that new members can effectively participate in our Union of freedom, democracy and rule of law. Following the European Parliament’s reform proposals, the ball is now in the court of the heads of state and government, who want to present conclusions on the reform of the EU by summer 2024.

Until then, there is still much to do as the 2024 European elections are just around the corner. We have also launched the annual consultation process with our member organizations to update our EM-Germany policy. You can look forward to exciting events in the upcoming weeks. And remember: use your vote on June 9, 2024!

I hope you enjoy reading our newsletter.


Bernd Hüttemann

Secretary General of EM Germany

EM Germany News

Presentation of the work of the EM Germany at „Newsroom Europe“ of the EAB | The EM Germany was again represented at the Newsroom Europe 2024 event this year. On 22 March, the European Academy Berlin brought together young journalists from Belgium, Hungary and Germany. EM Germany Secretary-General Bernd Hüttemann presented the work of the EM Germany to the audience. He focussed on the topics of the rule of law and EU enlargement. | More (in German)

Meeting of the College of Europe’s 2024 Selection Committee | The EM Germany General Secretariat decided at the end of March who will be in the running for the coveted study places at the College of Europe this year. The selection committee, chaired by Prof Dr Stefan Fröhlich, met over three days to select the scholarship holders for the 2024/25 intake from the 55 applicants. They will be given the opportunity to study at renowned universities in Bruges or Natolin. | More (in German)

Support for Ukraine, security policy and EU enlargement at the EBD De-Briefing EUCO | The European Council meeting on 21 and 22 March covered a wide range of topics: from support for Ukraine to EU reform and enlargement to migration policy. For the digital de-briefing, the EM Germany welcomed Sibylle Katharina Sorg, Head of the European Department at the Federal Foreign Office and Dr Kirsten Scholl, Head of the European Department at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection as de-briefers and EM Germany Vice-President Barbara Lochbihler for a first comment. The Council has reaffirmed its support for Ukraine and wants to do more to combat the circumvention of Russia sanctions. Bosnia and Herzegovina was officially recognised as a candidate country for EU accession. | More (in German)

Results of the 71st European Competition | The jury has met and the winners have been announced. This year, the European Competition honoured 434 entries with a national prize that dealt with the topic of „Europe (un)limited“. Our website provides an overview of the winners by federal state. You will also soon be able to admire selected award-winning works. | More (in German)

Brussels Alumni in Berlin | Have you gained life and work experience in Brussels? Then you are one of the more than 2,000 Berliners who are bringing a piece of Brussels to the German capital. Together with Süddeutsche Zeitung Dossier, the EM Germany would like to create further opportunities for European political networking. This is why the Brussels Alumni in Berlin project exists. Sign up for the mailing list and you will receive information on exclusive network meetings and other activities organised by and for Brussels alumni in Berlin. | More (in German)

Upcoming Events

29.04.2024 | Better Together: 20 years of EU enlargement by 10 countries with Cornelia Seibeld, President of the Berlin House of Representatives, among others

29.04.2024 | Table.Media cooperation for the 2024 European elections: with Damian Boeselager (Volt) and Christine Singer (Freie Wähler)

03.05.2024 | Table.Media cooperation for the 2024 European elections: with Martin Schirdewan (Die Linke)

06.05.2024 | Award ceremony Preis Frauen Europas 2024 to Hanna Veiler

16.05.2024 | EBD De-Briefing ECOFIN and Eurogroup with Dr Judith Hermes, Head of the European Policy Division; International Financial Policy at the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

16.05.2024 | For a gender-equal Europe! Cooperation event of the EM Germany with the Bundesstiftung Gleichstellung, Deutscher Frauenrat e. V. und Deutscher Juristinnenbund e. V. for the European elections 2024 with Eva Gerhards (European Commission), Katarina Barley MdEP (SPD) und Dr. Hannah Neumann MdEP (Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN).

Our Presidency Calendar on the Belgian EU Council Presidency contains all dates of the semester.

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