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Chapter

Cover The European Union

9. Enlargement and Wider Europe  

Ulrich Sedelmeier and Graham Avery

The EU has expanded many times and many countries still aspire to join. Enlargement illustrates the success of the European model of integration. It has also provided the EU with a powerful tool to influence domestic politics in would-be members. But enlargement also poses fundamental challenges. It has implications both for how the EU works (its structure and institutions) and for what it does (its policies). The chapter first compares ‘widening’ and ‘deepening’ before discussing enlargement as a form of soft power. It then explains how the EU has expanded and why countries want to join. It also looks at wider Europe and the EU’s relationship with Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland, as well as prospective members in the Balkan countries. The chapter goes on to consider the EU’s relationship with Turkey and the European Neighbourhood Policy. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the potential limits of EU expansion and an evaluation of the enlargement process.

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 Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes

14. Changing Patterns of Democratic Backsliding and Breakdown  

This chapter discusses the changing patterns of democratic backsliding and breakdown. Since the end of the Cold War, coups no longer present the greatest threat to democracy. Instead, there has been a rise in what can be referred to as ‘authoritarianizations’, or the slow dismantling of democratic norms and practices by democratically-elected leaders. The chapter particularly focuses on identifying and describing the steps that contemporary populist parties and leaders are using to dismantle democracy. It then provides an in-depth look at two prominent cases of authoritarianization: Russia and Turkey. Finally, the chapter looks at three key implications of the changing patterns in democratic breakdown. Staying abreast of changes in how democracies fall apart is fundamental to developing strategies to engage and counter autocracy's resurgence.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

15. Migration: The Dilemmas of External Relations1  

Christopher Hill

In the 21st century, migration has become a significant issue in international politics. The European Union (EU), as a zone of wealth and liberal democracy geographically close to the poor and often war-torn states of north Africa and the Middle East, has been a magnet to people desperate to improve their standard of living outside their own countries. But neither the individual EU member states, who retain full control over their own external borders, not the EU, have managed to settle on policies which strike a balance between their obligations to provide asylum and the increasing political pressures at home to restrict immigration. This chapter describes how migration has turned into a problem of foreign policy for the EU, and how efforts to forge a commonpolicy have mostly failed, including the management of the common external frontier. It goes on to discuss the EU’s relationship with international law and other international institutions, in the context of the constraints imposed by a turbulent external environment. The chapter concludes by examining the attempts to sub-contract the implementation of migration management to third states, focusing on relations with Turkey and with Libya.

Chapter

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 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’.