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Larger and more law abiding? The impact of enlargement on compliance in the European Union

Börzel, Tanja A. and Sedelmeier, Ulrich ORCID: 0000-0001-6963-4296 (2017) Larger and more law abiding? The impact of enlargement on compliance in the European Union. Journal of European Public Policy, 24 (2). 197 - 215. ISSN 1350-1763

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13501763.2016.1265575


Although enlargement increases the preference diversity in the EU, this paper shows that enlargement has not led to a deterioration of compliance with EU law. In three of the EU’s four enlargement rounds, the new member states comply better with EU law than the old member states. The southern enlargement in the 1980s is the only one that led to a substantial increase in noncompliance. Particularly surprising for the main compliance theories, which focus on state power, adjustment costs, administrative capacities, or legitimacy, is the good performance of the postcommunist Central and Eastern European new member states after the eastern enlargement in the 2000s. Our analysis suggests that the use of pre-accession conditionality in the eastern enlargement explains why these new members perform so well - unlike their Southern counterparts who faced equally unfavourable country-level conditions for compliance.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JX International law
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2016 10:59
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 06:42

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