About this working group:

Our working group European Neighbourhood and Enlargement specifically deliberates matters concerning the immediate European neighbourhood and questions concerning the enlargement of the European Union.

This working group differs from the working group Europe and Foreign Policy in that it focuses exclusively on the European Neighbourhood (ENP) as defined by the European Union and countries that are in the process of applying or becoming a Member State of the European Union. Obviously, there may be cooperation with the working group Europe and Foreign Policy whenever that is opportune, and especially when it concerns third countries with an Association Agreement with the European Union.

A special case is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is formally not a neighbourhood country (yet), but may be perceived as one.

Particularly since the Arab Spring and recent pro-European developments in the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, the European Neighbourhood and Enlargement is a dynamic topic to discuss and important for the European Union to consider.

What is the aim of this working group?

Our focus consists of two parts:

1. On the cooperation and both bilateral and multilateral agreements with countries in the European Neighbourhood.

2. On the negotiations of candidate countries in their path towards becoming a Member State of the European Union.

European Neighbourhood

The European Union benefits from a stable and prosperous neighbourhood. Therefore, the primary aim of our work with the European Neighbourhood is to achieve just that. This also means that diplomatically we are equal partners. We follow developments and start our own initiatives to improve relations with and the well-being of the neighbourhood vis-à-vis the European Union.


Whichever third country wishes to join or rejoin the European Union faces important questions about their place in Europe as well as their place in the World. For the European Union, there are also important questions about whether they match the mission and vision of the EU and would be a welcome addition to the family. The working group deliberates on how questions of accessions are answered. If desirable, we will constructively put forward proposals to improve the process towards accession.

About our working group chairperson Ben Burgers:

Throughout the political life of Ben Burgers, he has visited most of Europe when attending congresses and seminars within the European and International Liberal family. This fostered an interest in our European Neighbourhood as well as countries that wish to join the European Union.

He has visited Lebanon and Moldova once and Armenia twice (all within a political context) and made contact with politically active individuals from almost all of the European Neighbourhood countries, which adds to his openness and interest in the neighbourhood.

If you are interested in participating in this working group, please send an email with your contact details to: wg-european-neighbourhood-and-enlargement@elfr.eu and Ben Burgers will come back to you as soon as possible. Please put workinggroups@elfr.eu in CC. We are looking forward to your contribution!

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