Individual Submission Summary

Direct link:

Limits of EU Conditionality: A Comparative Study of the EU Candidates in Western Balkans and Turkey

Thu, November 9, 3:45 to 5:15pm, Loews Hotel, Congress A


The European Union’s enlargement policy has been one of its most successful tools in its foreign policy. The enlargement policy, however, is under scrutiny in terms of its effectiveness in bringing about changes in the aspirant countries. A pending question is whether the EU’s enlargement policy still has the same leverage for fostering domestic change in the current candidates as in the previous round of enlargements. This leads us to question the scope conditions for the EU’s usage of certain strategies and tools in various contexts. The EU enlargement process is impacted by the external, global environment, as well as the domestic context in the candidates and the member states. The EU could not alter or shape these factors easily, yet they matter significantly in setting the boundaries and the environment within which the EU’s strategies for enlargement would work. At the same time, the EU enlargement strategy itself functions in such a way as to shape the scope conditions in third-party countries. This short concept paper looks at these conditions - internal and external – under which the enlargement process proceeds and proposes that the preferences of member states, geopolitical interests, bilateral relations between members and particular candidates play a much more important role in shaping the EU’s enlargement policy, increasingly after 2011. the paper’s main contention is that there is an interplay between the EU’s credibility and the domestic economic and political conditions in the candidates that shapes the effectiveness of the EU enlargement policy.