Enlargement and transient conditionality: the case of ethnicity

Barnes, Ian G. and Randerson, Claire (2005) Enlargement and transient conditionality: the case of ethnicity. In: Europe on the move: the impact of eastern enlargement on the European Union. Region - Nation - Europa, 33 . Lit, Munster, pp. 87-100. ISBN 9783825889470

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Abstract

The largest enlargement in the EU’s history has now been completed with the addition of ten new member states. Admission of the new members was conditional on their achieving the criteria for membership set out at the 1993 Copenhagen European Council for membership. These criteria involved demonstrating broad political and economic fitness for membership. In addition to this, negotiations involved either adopting or promising to adopt the cumulative body of EU law; the acquis communautaire. This paper reflects upon this process and the way in which it delivers its outcome. The enlargement process is designed to test the suitability of the applicant states for EU membership, consequently, applicant states are normally very concerned to minimise problems they may have encountered during membership negotiations. However, issues believed to have been resolved can re-emerge, once the goal of membership has been secured. Compliance with membership conditions is often superficial and national interests can, for a period of time, be minimised. In the run up to enlargement, applicant states were considered to be responsible for dealing with ethnic complexities within their own borders, but were expected to deliver reforms with respect to protecting the rights of these groups.
This paper argues that some of the progress that new members made in response to the conditions laid down by the EU, may be clawed back once enlargement is achieved. Certainly there are indications that, in areas normally outside the EU’s competence such as the treatment of ethnic minorities, progress has come to a halt now accession has been secured. Despite the continued relevance of constructivist internationalist theories for the Eastern enlargement process, these disappointing developments post accession can best be explained by rationalist internationalist theories. Now that the goal of enlargement has been secured and we move into a period of policy implementation, for CEE states some of the material consequences of enlargement have become more evident, at the same time that the EU’s influence over domestic policy in these states via political conditionality has diminished. As such, policy reform reversals in particular areas can be anticipated.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:The largest enlargement in the EU’s history has now been completed with the addition of ten new member states. Admission of the new members was conditional on their achieving the criteria for membership set out at the 1993 Copenhagen European Council for membership. These criteria involved demonstrating broad political and economic fitness for membership. In addition to this, negotiations involved either adopting or promising to adopt the cumulative body of EU law; the acquis communautaire. This paper reflects upon this process and the way in which it delivers its outcome. The enlargement process is designed to test the suitability of the applicant states for EU membership, consequently, applicant states are normally very concerned to minimise problems they may have encountered during membership negotiations. However, issues believed to have been resolved can re-emerge, once the goal of membership has been secured. Compliance with membership conditions is often superficial and national interests can, for a period of time, be minimised. In the run up to enlargement, applicant states were considered to be responsible for dealing with ethnic complexities within their own borders, but were expected to deliver reforms with respect to protecting the rights of these groups. This paper argues that some of the progress that new members made in response to the conditions laid down by the EU, may be clawed back once enlargement is achieved. Certainly there are indications that, in areas normally outside the EU’s competence such as the treatment of ethnic minorities, progress has come to a halt now accession has been secured. Despite the continued relevance of constructivist internationalist theories for the Eastern enlargement process, these disappointing developments post accession can best be explained by rationalist internationalist theories. Now that the goal of enlargement has been secured and we move into a period of policy implementation, for CEE states some of the material consequences of enlargement have become more evident, at the same time that the EU’s influence over domestic policy in these states via political conditionality has diminished. As such, policy reform reversals in particular areas can be anticipated.
Keywords:European Union, Enlargement of European Union, Political conditionality, Ethnicity
Subjects:L Social studies > L241 European Union Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:1029
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:23 Aug 2007
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:15

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