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Conclusions the Constitutional Challenges after Enlargement

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Chapter Summary

The gradual development of an European Union (EU) enlargement policy, which started after the 1993 Copenhagen European Council, holds a number of characteristics. First, EU enlargement has to be conceived as a 'double-track process' with, on the one hand, the EU's internal reform and, on the other, the applicant countries' progress towards accession. Importantly, both dimensions, which reflect the eternal 'widening versus deepening' dilemma, are interdependent and mutually influencing. Secondly, the EU gradually developed an enlargement methodology, based upon the principles of differentiation and conditionality. Accordingly, the relationship between the candidate countries and the EU has been characterised by a growing asymmetry. This evolution was clearly demonstrated by the shift from the bilateral EAs to the White Paper on law approximation and the unilateral Accession Partnerships as the main instruments of the pre-accession strategy.

Keywords: candidate countries; Copenhagen European Council; European Union (EU)'s enlargement methodology; pre-accession strategy



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