|Enlargement, Borders and Neighbourhood of the EU (2007)|
The European Union began 2007 with its 6th enlargement as two more states, Bulgaria and Rumania, became members. This recent enlargement accelerated an already tense discussion about further enlargement policy in the EU. The second annual conference “Enlargement, Borders and Neighbourhood of the EU” created a platform for a realistic and well balanced debate on border policy and the possibilities of further enlargement of the European Union. It also proposed answers to questions arising within the following context: What is the best way of cooperating with neighbours at the European level?
The debate about EU borders seems to be of the greatest importance for the whole of Europe because of the direct connection between outer borders and the inner organization and orientation of the community. A serious debate on these strategic questions is all the more important since the Czech Republic is holding the EU Presidency during the first half of 2009. The constructive discussion about the future configuration of the European Union is clearly necessary.
The conference was held on November 9, 2007, in the Prague New City Hall and was headed under the auspices of Markéta Reedová, the Deputy Mayor of the City of Prague, and under the academic auspices of Sciences-Po Paris and its European program in Dijon. The program was divided into three sections: it began with two panels focusing on practical aspects, and a third panel analyzing the political level.
The conference contributed answers to the following questions:
Among the speakers were leading European political experts and scholars – e.g. Michel Foucher, French Ambassador-at-Large for EU Affairs, John Palmer, former Political Director of the European Policy Centre, Franz Fischler, former European Commissioner, Sylvie Goulard, President of the European Movement France, Lukas Macek, Director of the European Programme in Dijon, Scineces-Po Paris, Josef Zieleniec, MEP and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and Alexandr Vondra, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs.