Edited by Fergus Carr and Andrew Massey
Chapter 4: EU Enlargement and International Socialization
Frank Schimmelfennig After the end of the Cold War, the European Union (EU)1 embarked on a large-scale process of international socialization in the post-communist Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs), in which it inducts the CEECs to its general political rules of liberal democracy and to its speciﬁc rules of the acquis communautaire. When the ﬁrst eight CEECs became full members of the EU in May 2004, the socialization process came to a ﬁrst, formal conclusion. This chapter presents a general analysis of EU socialization policy in Central and Eastern Europe. Which mechanisms and strategies has the EU used to promote its rules? What effects did they have, and under which conditions and to what extent have they been successful? The EU mainly relies on intergovernmental reinforcement to promote its rules in the CEECs; its core instrument is accession conditionality. The effectiveness of this instrument depends both on the credibility of the membership perspective and on the domestic costs of adopting EU conditions. Depending on the nature of EU conditions and conditionality three stages of EU socialization can be distinguished 1. The ﬁrst stage is characterized by political conditionality. At this stage the focus is on the basic political standards of liberal democracy as a precondition for opening accession negotiations. The effectiveness of political conditionality is mainly determined by the credibility of the membership perspective and the domestic power costs that the target governments expect to incur from adapting to the liberal democratic rules of the EU. Political...
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