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Between enlargement-led Europeanisation and Balkan exceptionalism: an appraisal of Bulgaria’s and Romania’s entry into the European Union

Papadimitriou, Dimitris and Gativa, Eli (2009) Between enlargement-led Europeanisation and Balkan exceptionalism: an appraisal of Bulgaria’s and Romania’s entry into the European Union. Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe, GreeSE Paper No 25. The Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

The accession of Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union (EU) in 2007 offers significant theoretical and empirical insights into the way in which the EU has deployed and realised its enlargement strategy/strategies over the past 15 years. Borrowing from the literature on enlargement-led Europeanisation and EU conditionality, this article discusses how the EU has sought to influence domestic reform in the two countries through a mix of threats and rewards. What emerges from Bulgaria’s and Romania’s trajectory towards EU membership is the evolutionary and contested nature of EU conditionality as well as the considerable EU discretion in the manner of its implementation. In that sense Bulgaria and Romania, as ‘outliers’ of the 2004-7 EU enlargement, offer us critical tests of the enlargement-led Europeanisation thesis. Thus, their study provides useful conceptual insights into the transformative power of the EU in Eastern Europe and highlights important policy legacies affecting the current EU enlargement strategy in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/hellenicObservato...
Additional Information: © 2009 Dimitris Papadimitriou and Eli Gateva
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Hellenic Observatory
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: GreeSE Paper No 25
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2009 14:23
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24197/

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