The MAXCAP Working Paper No. 9 “Building Sand Castles? How the EU Seeks to Support the Political Integration of its New Members, Accession Candidates and Eastern Neighbours” by Tanja A. Börzel has been published. You can download the Working Paper here.
This paper provides an overview of the EU's modes of political integration in the new member states, in the current and potential candidates of the Western Balkans, and in the European Neighbourhood countries. More specifically, it analyzes the efforts directed at state-building and the rule of law and distinguishes between direct and indirect modes of influence. The analysis reveals interesting similarities of the modes used by the EU to promote the political integration of new member states, candidates, and neighbourhood countries. These similarities have been propelled by the lessons the EU has learned over time, showing that the EU’s political integration has evolved through an incremental process of “learning by doing” rather than a great master plan. Through mapping the EU’s efforts, the paper argues that the EU has been reluctant and inconsistent in applying conditionality, yet used reinforcement by reward as the linchpin of its efforts to induce political change.
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