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Enlargement Conditionality of the European Union and Future Prospects

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Chapter Summary

As to the implementation of famous provision, the well-known question, 'Where does Europe end?', pushed the final phase of EU enlargement into a nebulous geopolitical area in the eastern continental part of Europe. After 1990, in 'new Europe' the geographical meaning of 'all European states' can be clearly identified. For this reason, the accession criteria stipulated for the candidates and preconditions of future enlargements, the two sides of same coin, should be analysed in new light. Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), as all its predecessors, contains eligibility criteria as well as procedural provisions of accession. The unwritten conditions of EU enlargement are well detectable and consequently applied practices, which could be observed in past enlargement waves without any formal provisions in the Treaties. After the last 'big' enlargement, symptoms of 'enlargement fatigue' have appeared in the political attitude of core EU countries.

Keywords: eligibility criteria; enlargement conditionality; enlargement fatigue; European Union (EU); future prospects; unwritten conditions



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