The MAXCAP Working Paper No. 7 “A Comparative Analysis of the European Union’s Accession Negotiations for Bulgaria and Turkey: Who Gets in, When and How?” by Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Aylin Ece Çiçek has been published. You can download the Working Paper here.
The authors analyze the Bulgarian and Turkish accession negotiations to the European Union based on propositions derived from different theoretical frameworks. In order to do so, they first analyze the Turkish and the Bulgarian ability to fulfill the EU’s political criteria, and compare their respective positions with regards to EU political conditionality as key to unlock the different paths of accession. Secondly, they consider the unfolding of the accession negotiations and the role of individual member states as veto players. The authors limit their focus to a comparative analysis of the EU’s political evaluation, and to the lack of consensus and commitment among the EU member states towards Turkey as a complicating factor during EU negotiations. They are able to ascertain that a key difference between Bulgaria and Turkey with regards to their EU accession was the Bulgarian ability to conform to the EU political criteria comparatively better than Turkey. Yet, beyond the candidates’ specific factors, they are able to determine that the role of the individual member states as veto players has become more visible in the Turkish case. As a result, they can show that who gets in, how and when to the EU depends on the interplay of these multilateral and bilateral aspects of the negotiations process.
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