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Conclusions Eu Enlargement as a 'Deus Ex Machina'?

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Chapter Summary

After the restoration of the Baltic States' independence different scenarios could be envisaged regarding the future development of relations between the European Commission/ European Union (EC/EU) and those three countries i.e. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Initially, the EU and its Member States - with the exception of Germany and Denmark - responded reluctantly to proposals of association and potential membership. Accordingly, the many faces of the EU's conditionality approach became apparent from the very beginning. On the one hand, the suspension clauses included in the bilateral agreements provided the EU with the threat of a sanction in case of serious disturbances in one of the partner countries. On the other hand, the respective agreements also offered important incentives. The evolution in the EU's approach from a rather reluctant position after the restoration of independence towards full support of the Baltic States' membership ambitions can be attributed to a number of internal and external factors.

Keywords: Baltic states; Estonia; European Union's approach; Latvia; Lithuania



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