Europe after Enlargement

From a “divided” to an “enlarged” Europe: an assessment (1989-12222)
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The situation in Central and Eastern Europe has a damaging effect on enlargement, except for Romania due to its judiciary and people. Over , people rallied in January to defend the rule of law, democracy, and express their commitment to the European values—and the protests continue.

Unfortunately, many politicians from all the CEE states have one thing in common: the lack of political will to fight corruption, because they benefit from it. Many nationalist and populist politicians from Eastern Europe say they encourage enlargement.

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Nevertheless, their actions undermine the process by setting a negative example that reduces the trust of citizens from prospective members in the EU and in its power to offer them a safer, fairer, and more prosperous living environment. Furthermore, the Kremlin is making use of every single weakness of the EU. The situation in the region creates the perfect climate for Russian propaganda to destabilize the union. Enlargement is killing enlargement. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic are not EU poster boys in terms of their illiberal populism and media manipulation. But far more dangerous to future enlargement is the failure to eradicate corruption and state capture, notably in Romania and Bulgaria, and importing border disputes into the EU.

Greece and Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina—all refuse to settle borders or even recognize each other. Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU despite unfinished business in justice reform; Croatia was treated less leniently, as Serbia is now. They were also willing and able to transfer concrete knowledge of the accession process.

It also gives backing to political forces who have every interest to preserve their current privileges and impunity, and who have been stalling the enlargement process all along. But for all that, there is still Brexit-driven EU reform. Enlargement was always about solidarity with future members of the union. However, so they say, the new members showed no solidarity when it was unity was needed to accept refugees coming to the EU.

Conversely, I have never heard a pundit from Brussels admit that between and the six potential EU member economies in southeast Europe the SEE6 have made the EU richer by 97 billion euro through their trade deficits, mostly with Germany and Italy about 75 percent of the SEE6 trade is with the EU.

They also pay substantial interest rates for capital borrowed in the EU. Moreover, about four-fifths of their banking system is in the hands of financial institutions from the EU. The truth is that the Western Balkans are socioeconomically and politically already part of the EU, but with many disadvantages and no voting rights. At the end of the day, it is ideological: some people resent the fact that the EU has not stayed a Carolingian league. Others, who feel responsibility for the future of Europe, should push for the accelerated entry of the SEE6. Central Europe clearly disappoints any expectations that NATO and EU enlargement would provide a framework to develop and sustain open societies.

But with similar trends apparent in older EU member states, it seems myopic to single out the newer ones. Given that the Central European states have had only had fourteen years of experience in the EU and less than three decades of living in open societies—with almost no democratic experience before —it is important to take the long view.

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One full generation of Central Europeans have grown up in an open Europe and with democracies, flawed though they might be; they will be followed by more. The Western liberal order is in crisis—not just Central Europe. It is vital that all Europeans see these issues as common threats. Ever since Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU in , there has been a constant stream of complaints that they should not have been accepted due to their lack of fulfillment of key democratic and rule-of-law conditions.

Now that Hungary and Poland, the former model countries of post-communist transition, have regressed their democratic standards and values, there are a growing number of voices among EU member states who are asking for either a temporary pause or an end to enlargement.

But, enter geopolitics.

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So geopolitical reasoning weighs heavily in favor of enlargement, in spite of the bad image some have of it. Yes and no. The cases of Romania and Bulgaria only reaffirm one of the few lessons partly learned by the EU from earlier rounds of enlargement: to substantially strengthen reform conditionality on democracy and the rule of law and to make no compromises when letting in new members.

This has long-since ceased being a problem confined to illiberal member states, or to the enlargement process alone, as the refugee crisis has demonstrated. Follow the conversation— Sign up to receive email updates when comments are posted to this article.

In the past, geopolitics has played a huge role in poorly regulating global finance. Enormous corruption, as referred to in comments above, is a result. Indeed the latest report by Transparency International criticises member countries in the EU. The EU has proved unwilling to enforce fiduciary duty. Because of this 'approved' culture, the spreading of the disease through enlargement seems irresponsible. O f course it is. This is a non-issue. They see excluded European states as potential competitors for EU money and will exclude them to the extent possible.

Instead, the nationalist impulse in Poland alone, regardless of which party is in power, will insure the permanent exclusion of both Ukraine and Russia, with all the attendant conflictual circumstances that such an exclusion would generate -- in other words the news of the last seven years. Political participation and Political culture were 10, yet they rejected twice Europe; they also sanctioned the US defense companies providing weapons for their defense of course at US citizens expense, including a strong US Marine corps.

The EU was conceived as a way to stop the quarreling nations of Europe to quarrel, after they plunged the world in the war seems less and less a date when that war ended. Versailles and the League of Nations failed to bring peace, brought fascism and communism. Forbrig summarizes best the present state, and identifies the root cause: citizens. Institutions are as strong as the citizenry, not the other way around. And this is how we get to the main reason the EU should enlarge and stick together: the world is no longer an imperial playground, for the Pope of Yalta to divide it.

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For the same reason a EU-US association based on the common four tenets credo is better than all of a sudden trade war. When the asteroid hit the dinosaurs evolved into birds; Homo Sapiens might go to nuclear war. Carnegie Europe. Sign up for Carnegie Email. Experts Publications Events. Experts Publications.

Experten Publikationen. Latest Analysis Popular Spotlight. Blogs Strategic Europe. Brussels Regions and Countries Issues. Sign Up for Strategic Europe If you enjoyed reading this, subscribe for more! Judy Dempsey. February 28, Monica Macovei Member of the European Parliament The situation in Central and Eastern Europe has a damaging effect on enlargement, except for Romania due to its judiciary and people.

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Screen names appear with your comment. Screen Name. Email Address. Sort by: Date Posted Recommended. Kosovo — although not recognised by five member states — has concluded the negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement. The condition that the EU could only enlarge if it was able to absorb new members without jeopardising the momentum of European integration had been one of the criteria listed by the Copenhagen European Council in It had been controversial for being a condition that was outside the control of the candidate countries and could therefore become an instrument for reluctant member state governments to stall enlargement.

To a large extent, the slower progress towards EU membership of the candidate countries in south-eastern Europe can be attributed to their specific characteristics that made the starting conditions for meeting the demands for EU accession more challenging. Without doubt, the domestic conditions in the current candidate countries are less favourable than they were in the post-communist countries that joined in The state of democracy, economic development and state capacity were and still are generally more problematic, not least due to legacies of the violent break-up of Yugoslavia.

But is the slow progress of their accession processes entirely due to these structural differences, or have attitudes in the EU also changed as a result of negative experiences with previous eastern enlargements? Did eastern enlargement have a negative impact on the effectiveness of EU decision-making and on the implementation of common policies and rules?

One of the concerns about eastern enlargement was how the dramatic increase in the number of Member States — from 15 to 25 in , 27 in and 28 in July — would affect the functioning of the EU. A much larger membership could be expected to have a negative impact on the legislative capacity of the Council of Ministers. The increase in numbers and increasing heterogeneity of Member State preferences threatened to thwart effective decision-making not only in areas that explicitly required unanimous agreement. In addition to the challenge of enlargement for decision-making in the Council, there were also concerns that the need to accommodate representatives of the new members in other EU institutions.

Notably for the Commission and the European Parliament, enlargement could lead to indigestion. Adding more Commissioners and Members of the European Parliament from new Member States to these institutions — originally conceived for six member states — could impede effective internal working and efficient allocation of tasks. The existing academic literature on the impact of enlargement on the decision-making capacity of the EU finds no evidence that the decision-making machinery has become paralysed. The functioning of the EU after enlargement is characterised by gradual adaptation rather than complete transformation.

The adaptation has been more far-reaching in the Council and with regards to the negotiation mode and culture, rather than to the output of the process as such. A general challenge in assessing the impact of enlargement on decision-making is that it is difficult to establish a clear counterfactual argument: in the absence of enlargement, should we have expected legislative output to remain at the same level as prior to enlargement, or would idiosyncratic factors have led to an increase, or even a decrease?

Still, it might have been expected that more participants in Council negotiations would at least lead to a decrease in the speed of decision-making even if the quantity of the output remained constant. Yet although a longer perspective on the impact of the various EU enlargements between and suggests that enlargement indeed reduces the speed of decision-making, 15 studies of eastern enlargement in particular demonstrate that on the contrary, the speed even increased slightly.

Notwithstanding the continuity in the quantity of legislative output, there are indications that the nature and quality of decision-making has changed after eastern enlargement. There appears to have been a drop in the proportion of salient or innovative legislation, with less debate in the Council and the Commission and more negotiations in closed-door meetings between the Council and the EP.

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Europe after Enlargement [Anders Aslund, Marek Dabrowski] on izytoripeb.tk * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Where is Europe going? In this The European Union (EU) has expanded a number of times throughout its history by way of the Since then, the EU's membership has grown to twenty-eight, with the latest member state being Croatia, which joined in July The most.

However, Council decision-making is neither characterised by a new east-west divide, nor have votes become more contested than prior to enlargement. Indeed, concerns about the ability of the post-communist countries to apply the large body of EU law, the acquis communautaire, were a main reason for scepticism about the desirability of eastern enlargement.

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In turn, the EU made progress towards accession conditional on progress with alignment. At the same time, a key finding of these studies raises concerns about the durability of compliance after accession. This finding implies that there might be a temporal limit for EU conditionality to sustain domestic reforms once accession changes the incentive structure for the governments of the new member states.

Such leverage is obviously much weaker than the threat of withholding membership altogether. Data on infringements of EU law by the European Commission suggest that the new Member States perform not only better on average than the old Member States. Most of the new Member States have a better compliance record than almost all of the old Member States. The new members also correct incidents of detected non-compliance cases faster than the old members, and are significantly less likely to be referred to the ECJ by the Commission for continued non-compliance.

A more sceptical interpretation of these findings is that the good record of the new members relies primarily on good formal transposition of EU law into national law, but that it contrasts with serious problems when it comes to the practical application of EU law on the ground. By the same token, however, another study of practical implementation in a somewhat larger number of policy areas and Member States cautions against generalising from the area of social policy about compliance in the post-communist member states.

It concludes that while practical implementation in post-communist members is prone to more shortcomings than formal transposition, these problems are not of a different nature and on a different scale than the ones encountered in western and southern Europe. Instead, the negative impression about the preparedness of the two countries for membership is mainly based on their lack of progress with regard to issues that the EU continues to monitor regularly through the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism CVM.

It entails annual monitoring by the Commission of progress with regard to the reform of the judiciary, the fight against corruption, and against organized crime. However, these issues are not as such part of EU law; 24 the Commission does not monitor them in the other older Member States and decided against proposing the use of CMV when Croatia joined. Another sense in which the earlier eastern enlargement might have negatively affected current attitudes towards further enlargement is through immigration.

Concerns about labour migration from poorer eastern Member States not dissimilar to concerns in the original EEC about migration from Italy to the other five members led the incumbent Member States to reserve the right in the accession treaties to suspend the free movement of workers for up to seven years after accession. The case of the UK is instructive in this respect.

The UK was one of the few Member States that chose against limiting the free movement of workers after the enlargement. Immigration from the new Member States to the UK, in particular from Poland, was much higher than the government had anticipated. Nonetheless, the UK government chose to close its labour market for the maximum seven years when Bulgaria and Romania joined in in reaction to perceived public hostility.

The success of the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party in the elections to the European Parliament in May can be at least partly attributed to its successful appeal to public concerns about immigration from new EU Member States. Indeed, negative public opinion towards further eastern enlargement in the EU more generally appears to be driven by perceived cultural threats and anti-immigration attitudes, which are in turn framed by the media and populist politicians. In sum however, the main effects of eastern enlargement on the EU — in terms of the functioning of decision-making and compliance with EU law — have not been negative, although concerns about problems with corruption in new members and current candidates, and about migration from new members have certainly become much more salient since the enlargement.

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There is more open opposition among governments to enlargement than prior to the enlargement, especially towards Turkey. A serious deterioration of public approval has led to a hardening of government attitudes, even if elites remain more positive. Nonetheless, it does not currently appear that a more fundamental change in government attitudes towards enlargement has taken place; certainly not as a result of the experience with eastern enlargement. The more incremental and slower process of accession in many of the current candidate countries appears instead related to the structural problems in the countries concerned.

EU discourse has strongly associated the enlargement with overcoming the division of the continent. The enlargement process made a positive contribution to reducing the east-west gap in democracy, even if the role that the EU can play beyond locking in endogenous democratic reforms should not be overstated. EU institutions are even more constrained in sanctioning democratic backsliding in member states after accession, but 10 years after enlargement, there is no general deterioration of democracy in new Member States.

Ten years after the first eastern enlargement, attitudes towards further enlargement have become more negative. However, these changing attitudes cannot be attributed to the impact that enlargement had on the functioning of the EU, either with regard to decision-making or the implementation of common policies. More worryingly, they are also partly government responses to perceived cultural threats and anti-immigration sentiments in public opinion. Portugal, a country full of hopes for the future in A country with very poor macroeconomic and social-development indicators, where most of the population had limited contact with the rest of the world, except those spread in the African colonies and in some European countries.

Greek democracy faced at least two major challenges over the past forty years, but has overcome both of them and despite the effects of the economic crisis which it currently faces, it can reform itself and develop further. For above all, it is about the people of Europe. The people of Europe are those who we are commemorating in this project.

When Europeans commemorate the Great War of this summer they should be reflecting not only on the diplomatic blunders and the enormous waste of lives but also the beginning of a new approach to international relations epitomised by the EU. This website uses cookies. For information on how to object, see our Privacy Policy.