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Cover International Relations and the European Union

14. Enlargement, the Neighbourhood, and European Order  

Karen E. Smith

This chapter examines the European Union's key decisions on enlargement as well as the EU's influence on its European neighbours and on the shape of European order. It begins with an overview of the ‘concentric circles’ approach adopted by the EU — then the European Community — to put off the prospect of enlargement and instead proceed with economic and political integration, while strengthening its relations with its European neighbours. It then considers the Copenhagen European Council of June 1993, the Luxembourg and Helsinki European Councils, and the EU's big-bang enlargement. It also analyses the EU's relations with South-Eastern Europe, Turkey, and the ‘wider Europe’. Finally, it explains why the EU member states agreed to a radical reshaping of the European order through enlargement and assesses the future of the enlargement project.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

13. An End to Enlargement: The EU, its Neighbourhood, and European Order  

Karen E. Smith

Between the period of the end of the Cold War and now, the European Union (EU) has enlarged four times. In 2016, on the eve of the Brexit referendum in the UK, it had a total membership of 28 countries, almost half of which (11 member states) are in Central and South-Eastern Europe. By enlarging, the EU wanted to consolidate the democratic and economic reforms in post-communist countries, and spread security and prosperity eastwards. Its enlargement policy involved an obvious carrot-and-stick policy, to encourage reforms, mainly through the application of membership conditionality. However, 30 or so years on from the end of the Cold War, the potential of EU enlargement to reshape European order is clearly currently in jeopardy: the fragile consensus favouring the enlargement project has become more brittle, and rather than generating a secure and prosperous European order, the EU has found itself surrounded by an ‘arc of crisis’, with wars and atrocities in its ‘backyard’. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 is proving to be the most serious threat to European order since the end of the Cold War. The EU will have to adjust to a much more insecure and threatening environment. The EU’s influence in its neighbourhood is tempered not just by Russia, but also by China and Turkey.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

12. The Enlarging European Union  

Anna Michalski

This chapter examines the pervasiveness and importance of enlargement in the history of European integration. It first considers the principles, conditions, and instruments of enlargement before discussing the roles of various institutional actors and the candidate states. It then shows how, faced with the likelihood of large-scale Central and Eastern European accession, the European Union extended the requirements for membership to include the candidate countries' democratic credentials and economic competitiveness. The first enlargement included Britain, Denmark, and Ireland, followed by Greece, Spain, and Portugal, the European Free Trade Association, the Central and Eastern European countries, Cyprus, and Malta. The chapter also explains how the EU has developed a variety of strategies to deal with growing differences among the member states' socio-economic situations and policy needs without formally resorting to a division of its membership in concentric circles, core and peripheral groups, or alternative frameworks.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

9. The Eastern and Western Blocs in the 1960s  

This chapter provides an overview of the Eastern and Western blocs in the 1960s. It first considers US–Soviet relations from the Cuban Missile Crisis to détente spanning the period 1963–71, focusing on the talks between Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy regarding the Test Ban Treaty, before discussing the superpowers’ relations with China. It then explores unity and division in Eastern Europe and in the Western bloc, taking into account the European Economic Community (EEC), NATO, and the Western economies in the 1960s. It also analyses the rise of European détente, covering topics such as progress on pan-European contacts and the emergence of Ostpolitik.

Chapter

Cover Origins and Evolution of the European Union

11. The European Union, the Soviet Union, and the End of the Cold War  

Jeffrey J. Anderson

This chapter examines the connection between German unification and the economic and monetary union (EMU), with particular emphasis on the relationship between the acceleration of European integration in the late 1980s and the seismic geopolitical shifts in Central and Eastern Europe, culminating in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Following a review of relations between the European Community (EC) and the Soviet Union on the eve of those momentous events, the chapter explains how the rapid integration in Western Europe became intertwined with disintegration in Central and Eastern Europe. It shows that the collapse of the Soviet bloc had a profound impact on the European Union as ten newly-independent Central and Eastern European states clamoured for membership. The chapter concludes with an assessment of EU enlargement in the post-Cold War period.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the European Union

26. Enlargement  

This chapter first examines the European Union’s (EU’s) main enlargement rounds. The first enlargement occurred in 1973 when Britain, Denmark, and Ireland were admitted as members. The second (1981) and third (1986) enlargements are often treated as a single ‘southern enlargement’. The fourth enlargement took place in 1995, and admitted Austria, Finland, and Sweden. The fifth and sixth enlargements, in 2004 and 2007, are known as the ‘eastern enlargement’. The seventh enlargement saw the admittance of Croatia in 2013. A number of further states in the western Balkans are at various stages in their accession processes. The chapter describes what happened during each round and the evolution of the procedure for joining. It reviews academic explanations of why the various applications for membership were made, and why they were accepted by the European Community (EC)/EU. Finally, the chapter looks at the controversial case of Turkey and considers the notion of ‘enlargement fatigue’.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

6. Maintaining the Spheres of Influence  

This chapter examines how the United States and the Soviet Union tried to maintain their respective spheres of influence during the Cold War, especially in three regions: Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and Latin America. The death of Joseph Stalin and the assumption of power by the triumvirate of Lavrenti Beria, Nikita Khrushchev, and Georgi Malenkov resulted in a fresh approach to domestic issues and to the nature of Soviet control over its European satellites. The apparent change produced a new Soviet approach to East–West relations. The chapter first considers how the new Soviet leadership addressed the crisis in East Germany before analysing American influence in Western Europe and US relations with Latin America. The discussion covers themes and events such as the Soviet policy on Hungary and Poland, the Messina Conference and the Spaak Committee, nuclear cooperation and multilateral force, and the US response to the Cuban Revolution.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

2. Two Worlds East and West, 1945–8  

This chapter examines how the world was divided into two opposing blocs, East and West, during the period 1945–8. It begins with a discussion of the Marshall Plan, focusing on its implementation and its Cold War consequences, and the Western economic system. It then considers the Soviet Union’s takeover of Eastern and Central Europe, with emphasis on the split between Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia. It also looks at the struggle for influence in East Asia and concludes with an assessment of the division of Germany. The chapter suggests that the Berlin crisis was in many ways a symbolic crisis in a city which came to epitomize Cold War tensions until 1989; the crisis has also been regarded as an important cause of the militarization of the Cold War and the formation of NATO.

Chapter

Cover Politics

16. Civil Society, Interest Groups, and Populism  

This chapter explores the role of civil society, interest groups, and populism in politics. It first considers the concept of ‘civil society’ and how it came to be associated with the protests that brought down communist regimes in Eastern Europe, along with its role in the Arab Spring. It then looks at interest groups as a major component of civil society, the rise of corporatism, and the notion of ‘infrapolitics’ or politics from below. It also discusses the growing phenomenon of populism as a way of enhancing the status and position of previously neglected groups in democracies as well as a challenge to liberal democracies. A case study on populism online involving Beppe Grillo and the Five star Movement is presented. The chapter suggests that populist politicians make use of the media to forge a direct relationship with their supporters.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

19. The Decline of the Cold War, 1985–9  

This chapter examines the decline of the Cold War during the period 1985–9. It begins with a discussion of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s ‘new diplomacy’, a more flexible, less ideological foreign policy based on his belief that ‘a less confrontational stance towards the outside world would provide greater security than endless rearming’. It then considers Gorbachev’s reforms, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty signed in December 1987 by Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, and US–Soviet relations under George H. W. Bush and Gorbachev. It also analyses the end of the Cold War in less developed countries such as Afghanistan, Angola, and Cambodia, before concluding with an assessment of the demise of Soviet communism in Eastern Europe.