- Ulrich Sedelmeier
This chapter examines the main phases of the European Union’s enlargement policy process — association, pre-accession, and accession — and the key decisions involved in each of these stages, how they are made, and how policy practice has evolved over time. It first considers the EU rules, procedures, and policy for the accession of new members before discussing association agreements, a long-standing instrument for the EU’s external relations: these include the European Economic Area agreement, Europe agreements, and stabilization and association agreements. It then explores enlargement as a tool of foreign policy and external governance as well as the development of the EU’s accession conditionality. It concludes with an assessment of the EU’s ‘enlargement fatigue’ after the 2007 enlargement and the limits of the success of accession conditionality, both temporal and geographical.