Make no mistake, this will be a more eastern, more Balkan EU. What will that mean for Ireland?

The decision of the recent European Council Summit in Brussels to formally open accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldovahighlights the commitment of Brussels to an enlarged EU. And while much of the focus will be on the reforms Kyiv must implement as part of this process or Hungary’s opposition to additional financial aid to Ukraine, it’s now clear that that the EU will – over the next decade – welcome a significant number of new members.

In addition to Ukraine and Moldova, membership talks will likely conclude by 2040 with at least one of the existing candidate countries from the Western Balkans – Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. Despite the ongoing war, the EU’s accession procedures remain stubbornly laborious.

Read more