dpart logo


Attitudes in the Netherlands on the EU enlargement of the Western Balkans

Many consider the Netherlands to be fundamentally sceptical about enlargement, which was often attributed to the negative attitude of the Dutch population towards EU enlargement, supported by surveys. However, it was still unclear how deeply rooted this rejection is in the population and whether the issue is of any importance to them at all. The project has analysed this.


A joint project by d|part, the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) und The Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG)

In 2019, the Dutch parliament vetoed the start of EU accession negotiations with Albania. Together with the simultaneous French veto against the start of talks with North Macedonia and Albania, it became clear how fragile the efforts to expand the EU in Southeastern Europe are.

Many observers classify the Netherlands as fundamentally skeptical about enlargement, which is often attributed to a negative attitude towards EU enlargement among the Dutch population. Although several surveys have confirmed this negative attitude in the Netherlands, most of them only examined the subject superficially. It was still unclear how deeply rooted this rejection in the population is, whether this topic is of great importance to the population in the Netherlands, and how the negative attitude towards EU enlargement is related to attitudes towards the European Union per se.

This project aimed to provide answers to these open questions. In cooperation with the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and The Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG), d|part will carried out a representative opinion poll on this topic in the Netherlands. The survey examined in depth the attitudes of the Dutch population towards EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, the perception of previous EU enlargement steps, and the general view of the EU. In addition to the representative survey, interviews with Dutch politicians at national and European level as well as focus groups with Dutch citizens were conducted. The results of the data collection was published in autumn 2022 and made accessible on this website.

The project tied in with the project Attitudes in France to EU-Balkan enlargement policy that d|part carried out together with the Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI)  in 2020.

We use cookies

Help us improve your experience by accepting our cookies. Find out more in our Privacy Policy