The ‘big-bang enlargement’ of the EU has nurtured vivid debates among academics, practitioners and EU citizens about the consequences of ‘an ever larger Union’ for the EU’s integration capacity. Over the past two years MAXCAP has examined whether the Eastern enlargement of 2004 and 2007 has limited the EU’s internal capacity to enlarge further and its external capacity to support the political and economic integration of non-members. These questions have not lost relevance, quite to the contrary. Current internal and external challenges for the EU range from solving the refugee crisis to growing public contestation about EU politics, cumbersome accession negotiations with Western Balkan countries and Turkey as well as an unstable neighbourhood. MAXCAP’s first Policy Brief presented recommendations for the EU policy towards the Eastern neighbourhood countries. The second Policy Brief puts emphasis on the policy implications of our interim research findings for the EU’s approach to support political and economic change in current and potential candidate countries so as to avoid disintegrative tendencies in the post-accession period. The second brief is available for download here.