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  • Author: Imke Pente
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: With a three-month postponement, the European Council agreed to grant Candidate Status to Serbia in early March. This right and groundbreaking decision may yet not release Serbia from settling its relationship with Kosovo and from advancing in settling Kosovo's status. Serbia implemented the agreements of the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue held under the auspices of the European External Action Service only sluggishly. The dialogue has been subject to recurrent adjournments due to growing tensions between the conflicting parties. The fatal escalation of the customs conflict between Serbia and Kosovo in July 2011 illustrated the limbo in northern Kosovo threatening to overturn. The clear results of the referendum about the recognition of the government in Pristina held in Northern Kosovo in February 2012 constitute yet another indicator for the deadlock between the Albanian and Northern Serb communities. For the sake of stability, the EU member states must not be lenient with the status settlement question before allowing Serbia membership in the European Union.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Regional Cooperation, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: Eli Gateva
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: The establishment of a Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for monitoring Bulgaria's and Romania's progress in the areas of judiciary and fight against corruption not only confirms the evolutionary nature of EU conditionality, but introduces a new feature, that of post-accession conditionality. More than three years after accession, neither Bulgaria nor Romania have managed to tackle the remaining issues and the scrupulous monitoring mechanism is still maintained. What are the main features and limitations of post-accession conditionality? Why does the effectiveness of EU conditionality deteriorate after accession? The article outlines a conceptual framework for comparative study of pre-accession and post-accession conditionality. On the basis of a stage-structured conditionality model, it discusses the transformations of the main elements of conditionality before and after accession and argues that the absence of accession advancement rewards combined with toothless explicit threats for sanctioning non-compliance produce very weak negative incentive structure which undermines the effectiveness of post-accession conditionality. The study, which draws on extensive interviews with senior EU officials and examination of key EU documents, highlights the growing application of differentiated and targeted conditionality and concludes with a reflection on the future of the mechanism and its implications for the ongoing enlargement of the Union with countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Bulgaria, Balkans, Romania
  • Author: Tanja A. Börzel
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: With the borders of the European Union (EU) moved eastwards, students of Europeanization have been awarded yet another real-world experiment. This paper explores to what extent existing Europeanization approaches travel beyond the EU's border to its South Eastern and Eastern neighbours, which are marked by “bad governance” with regard to both the effectiveness and democratic legitimacy of their domestic institutions. The first part outlines key insights of the literature on “Europeanization West” regarding the outcomes and the mechanism of the domestic impact of the EU. Then, I summarize the main findings of research on “Europeanization East” focusing on factors that have limited or at least qualified the domestic impact of the EU in the ten Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries in comparison to the EU 15 (those that were members before the 2004 enlargement). This paper discusses to what extent the concepts and causal mechanisms need even further qualification when applied to countries, such as the European Neighbourhood Countries (ENC), that are neither willing nor necessarily capable of adapting to Europe and that do not even have the incentive of EU membership to cope with the costs. I will argue that the EU is unlikely to deploy any transformative power in its neighbourhood as long as it does not adjust its “accession tool box” to countries the EU does not want to take on as members. The paper concludes with some considerations on the policy implications of the EU's approach of “move closer but don't touch” which has started to creep into its relations with the Western Balkans and Turkey.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Balkans