EU enlargement Foreign policy beyond the nation state April 1, 2014
Overview • EU foreign policy • The big bang enlargement • Beyond enlargement: EU foreign policy in the neighborhood
Relevance of this case • A case for foreign policy from an supranational organization • Soft power, coercion and FP • Cooperation & collaboration in FP • Overlap between domestic and foreign policy
Historical background:From economic to social & political integration • 1952- European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) • 1957 - European Economic Community (EEC) • 1987 - Single Europe Act • 1993 - The European Union (EU)
Key EU Structures • European Council- sets overall political direction • European Parliament -represents EU citizens • Council of the EU - passes EU laws • European Commission - manages day-to-day business of EU
EU foreign policy • EU foreign policy is more than the sum total of its member states’ foreign policies. • EU foreign policy is divided between three ‘pillars’: 1st pillar: European Community 2nd pillar: Common Foreign and Security Policy 3rd pillar: Justice and Home Affairs
EU foreign policy Lisbon Treaty (2009): goal to provide EU with greater coherence as an international actor through some key reforms: • External action • Legal personality • President • European External Action Service
Challenges in EU FP • Despite the advances in European integration, EU foreign policy continues to suffer from divisions on many levels of policy-making that undermine the ambition to speak with one voice. • Although the Lisbon Treaty formally dissolves the pillar structure of the Union, the different fields of policy-making remain distinctive.
Challenges in EU FP Economic vs Security integration: • In the areas of external economic relations, member states have delegated significant functions to the European Commission (EC), European Parliament (EP) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ). • Foreign affairs and security policy, however, remain essentially intergovernmental.
The big bang enlargement Early 1990s: great strides forward in European integration • Completion of Internal Market, 1992 • Maastricht Treaty, 1992 • Prospect of enlargement The key dilemma: widening vs deepening
Perspectives of the big three Three largest members had distinct views • Germany - widen & deepen • France - deepen first • UK – widen as way of stopping or even turning back efforts to deepen
Germany • ‘United’ Germany regarded widening and deepening of the EU as two complimentary processes, rather than ‘either / or’. • Germany pushes for deepening and enlargement to the east (‘widening’), based on national self-interest and a sense of moral commitment to east central Europeans.
France • Not against widening but didn’t want it to come at expense of further integration • Concerned that enlargement would dilute the Union • Strict conditions on new membership
UK • Wanted more flexible union and saw enlargement as way to slow down deepening • Key value saw in EU was free-trade market • Also saw importance of ensuring stability in Eastern Europe • As a result became early proponent of enlargement
Criteria for membership The Copenhagen criteria The EU specified 3 key conditions for applicants: 1. Applicants had to be democracies. 2. Applicants had to have functioning market economies which could compete in the single market. 3. Applicants had to take on all obligations of the EU.
Political conditionality See mix of both “soft power” and coercion • Soft power- attraction of membership and access to economic benefits • Coercion - threat of withholding membership Result: • Conditionality creates powerful pressure on candidates to make significant legal & institutional changes
Widening takes precedence Late 1990s political momentum for EU enlargement increases as a result of: • Series of pro-enlargement presidencies • Kosovo war • 9/11
Differentiation or not? • Key question becomes whether to accept all 10 candidates at once (big bang) or to differentiate between candidates • Proponents of a ‘big bang’ argued that admitting ten countries at once would: • Minimize the problem of exclusion • Necessitate only one large-scale adjustment by the EU
Differentiation or not? Those against a ‘big bang’ argued that admitting ten countries at once would: • Reduce pressure on applicants to undertake reforms • Force the front-running applicants to wait for the ‘laggards’ In the end “big bang” wins
Beyond enlargement: EU foreign policy in the neighborhood Serious obstacles for further enlargement: • The difficult negotiations over institutional reforms that resulted in the Lisbon Treaty and the economic recession • Normative appeal of the European Union may be waning in an increasingly multipolar world with rising new powers.
The question about what kind of relationship the European Union should build beyond enlargement became a pressing issue. • There was concern that Eastern enlargement could create new divisions in Europe between insiders and outsiders, triggering instability and a growing sense of insecurity in the countries bordering the EU.
In 2004, European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was set up with the aim to create a ring of well-governed neighbours surrounding the European Union from North Africa, the Middle East to Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. • The EU has also become increasingly involved in diplomatic mediation and crisis management operations in the neighbourhood.
However, EU foreign policy effectiveness and coherence are put in question: • In Eastern Europe, the democratic transition has stalled in favour of more autocratic regimes. • The EU’s response to the Arab Spring of 2011 and the democracy movements in North Africa and the Middle East has been fragmented.
Conclusion • Soft power isn’t always as soft as it appears • Period of 2004-2007 capped fundamental reshaping of Europe from Cold War • All done with out force or threat of force • Both material and ideational/moral interests played role in enlargement