(Re)uniting the East and West: Reflections on the 2004 EU enlargement

Apr 2024 –

The project '(Re)uniting the East and West: Reflections on the 2004 EU enlargement (REWEU)' is focused on the commemoration of the 2004 “big bang” EU enlargement at the occasion of its 20th anniversary in May 2024.

The project '(Re)uniting the East and West: Reflections on the 2004 EU enlargement (REWEU)' is focused on the commemoration of the 2004 “big bang” EU enlargement at the occasion of its 20th anniversary in May 2024. This event had numerous positive effects on shaping Europe as we know it today, boosting its security, economic potential, and spreading democracy, good governance and European values across the European continent.

However, despite being a historical moment of European integration, the 2004 enlargement is also often viewed as a root of many challenges that the Union is currently facing, such as democratic backsliding in some new EU Member States, or the rise of Euroscepticism.

Through the combination of local, national and international public events, collection of historical memories and narratives, studies on impacts of 2004 enlargement, costs of non-enlargement and role of women in the process, as well as exhibitions and media articles, the project contributes to wider contemporary efforts of EU memory politics.

The project focuses on eight selected EU countries, four from the older EU Member States which were part of the Union’s decisionmaking processes leading up to the big enlargement (Belgium, Finland, Greece and Italy) and four newly acceding countries (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Latvia and Poland).

The project is funded by the European Union through the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme under the European Remembrance call and will be implemented over 2 years from 2024 to 2025.

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