Process of enlargements impact on the EU policy process

To what extent, and in what ways, has the changeless procedure of expansion, impacted on the EU political relations and policy procedure?


The chief purpose of this assignment is to reason that the procedure of expansion had a great impact on the EU political relations and policy procedure. I divided the paper into three subdivisions: Treaties and Reforms, the Conditions the European states had to carry through to come in the EU and a comparative attack of the six expansions. I besides delved into how the changeless procedure of expansion affected the argument of broadening and deepening of the EU.


The EU has invariably been enlarging since the 1970s. Michalski ( 2006, p. 271 ) believes that ‘each unit of ammunition of expansion is alone and has its ain political moral force, based in portion on the particular features of the applicant provinces ‘ . The fact that the EU welcomes any European state which is ‘democratic, has a market economic system and possesses the administrative capacity to manage the rights and duties of rank ‘ ( EUROPA, 2010 ) means that expansion is an on-going procedure which impacted greatly on the EU political relations and policy procedure.

In fact, apart from making a individual market and a individual currency, the EU besides expanded its duties from ‘economic and societal policies to cover foreign and security policy as good ‘ ( EUROPA, 2010 ) . Every expansion brought new cultural and lingual facets to the EU.

Each state which aspires to come in the EU has to accept the Union ‘s acquis communautaire which is a set of regulations and ordinances that have to be followed. As the states wishing to come in the EU increased well, particularly in the 1990s, the Union introduced the Copenhagen Criteria. This was foremost added to the demands of accession in the 2004 expansion. Michalski ( 2006, p. 271 ) points out that this Criteria extended the procedure of accession ‘to screen the campaigners ‘ democratic certificates and economic fight ‘ .

The EU developed a show of schemes to cover non merely with the challenge of diverseness – which increased when the Eastern European states entered the EU in 2004 – but besides to cover with the difference in the socio-economic development among the member provinces ( Michalski, 2006, pp. 271-272 ) .

Expansion was regarded as the natural solution by many to the ‘unnatural division ‘ of Europe caused by the Cold War ( Ibid, p. 272 ) . A few old ages after the Treaty of Rome ( 1957 ) – which had brought six major European states together – the UK, Ireland, Norway and Denmark applied for rank in 1961. Staying merely six states in the EEC did non do sense. The thought was to pull more states towards the establishment and, therefore, do it a uniting factor for a continent which had been engulfed in war for centuries.

Michalski ( 2006, p. 272 ) believes that expansion was the factor which had the greatest impact on the Europium:

More than any other factor expansion has had a major impact on the political kineticss, institutional construction, and policy mix of the Union. Every unit of ammunition of expansion has brought into the EU the particular features of the acceding states, ensuing in a readjustment of the bing form of cooperation and integrating.

Apart from impacting the EU political relations and policy procedure, the states which entered the Union experienced a transmutation themselves in their political, economic and socio-economic system ( Ibid ) .

Olli Rehn ( 2005 ) , the European Commissioner of Enlargement ( 2004-2010 ) points out:

The thought at the bosom of the European undertaking is a simple one: create establishments and regulations within which states can carry on their business- both political and economic- and other states will seek to make the same. The EU ‘s most effectual agencies of exercising soft power is by carrying states to incorporate themselves in to legal models and economic relationships with the Union.

Treaties and Reforms

In 1952, Germany, France, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Belgium established the European Coal and Steel Community ( ECSC ) . In 1957 the Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community ( EEC ) that extended the common market to all economic sectors ( Archick, 2008, p. 1 ) .

The Treaty of Rome had declared that ‘any European province may use to go a member of the Community ‘ ( Michalski, 2006, p. 273 ) . This meant that right from its origin, the Union was ready for expansion.

Harmonizing to Michalski ( 2006, p. 273 ) , before the terminal of the Cold War, the conditions to fall in the Union were non every bit rigorous as they were after 1990 as the Cold War prevented big scale expansion and besides because the bing member provinces shared chiefly the same economic, societal and democratic values.

The Maastricht Treaty in 1993 established the European Union ( EU ) which encompassed the whole European Community ( EC ) . The pact made it clear that the Union consists of three major pillars: ‘an expanded and strengthened EC, a common foreign and security policy, and common internal security steps ‘ ( Archick, 2008, p. 2 ) .

Article 49 of the pact points out that ‘any European province which respects the rules of autonomy, democracy, human rights and cardinal freedoms, and the regulation of jurisprudence may use to fall in the Union ‘ ( EUROPA, 2010 ) . The Maastricht Treaty was the best indicant that the EU was traveling on the way toward greater political and economic integrating.

The procedure of expansion continued to impact on the EU political relations and policy procedure when the Amsterdam Treaty was signed in 1997. In this pact the legislative power of the European Parliament were increased and the EU ‘s foreign policy was strengthened. Measures were besides taken to hike employment and to pull off better the internal security of the establishment ( Archick, 2008, p. 2 ) .

The Nice Treaty ( 2000 ) paved the manner for farther expansion as it set out ‘internal, institutional reforms to let an enlarged Union to work efficaciously ‘ ( Ibid ) . However, this pact was criticised for its complex decision-making procedure. That is why the EU sought further reform and tried to present the 2004 Constitutional Treaty. This would non hold merely simplified the EU ‘s vote system, but would besides hold made its establishments more efficient. Nevertheless, France and Holland voted against it ( Ibid, pp. 2-3 ) .

It was clear that reform in the EU political relations and policy was needed particularly after the 2004 and the 2007 expansions. Hence, in December 2007, the Lisbon Treaty was approved by the European leaders. This pact, which came into consequence in December 2009, preserved ‘over 90 % of the substance of the original ‘ 2004 Constitutional Treaty ( Ibid, p. 3 ) . It removed the major proficient obstructions to farther EU expansion beyond 27 member provinces.

There are two types of diverseness within the EU. One of them is about the cardinal values of Europe, where, harmonizing to Michalski ( 2006, p. 290 ) , diverseness is regarded as positive and natural. However, the other sort of diverseness is non that positive as it raises ‘concerns about continuing the institutional constructions, policies and political moral force of the Union ‘ ( Ibid ) . The impact of new members on the EU is the chief ground for these concerns.

This diverseness originating from accession has ‘changed the Union, seting or adding new dimensions to the integrating procedure ‘ ( Ibid ) . That is why I am of the sentiment that the procedure of expansion had a major impact on the EU political relations and policy. In fact, despite of the philosophy that the acquis communautaire has to be wholly accepted by the draw a bead oning members, the EU reformed its establishments and extended its policy governments to do enlargement possible.

After accession, it was normal for new member provinces to seek to act upon administration and policy devising by presenting their thoughts about rightness and efficiency. The reforms that the Treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon brought approximately extended ‘the policy countries governed by bulk vote ‘ and transferred ‘new competencies to the Union degree ‘ ( Ibid ) .

Expansion triggered other reforms independent of the Treaties, like the one in 2003 on better law-making. The last three pacts of the EU ( Lisbon, Nice and Amsterdam ) made it possible for member provinces to collaborate on new countries by doing usage of the establishments of the Union ( Ibid, p. 291 ) .

The argument of broadening and deepening gained a batch of prominence in the EU particularly due to the enlargement from nine provinces in 1980, to 27 provinces by 2007. The accession of new provinces affects the operation of every establishment within the EU. This is because the figure of members additions in every establishment. Harmonizing to De Witte ( 2002, p. 235 ) this addition brings the ‘risk of transcending the appropriate size [ within the establishments ] leting for effectual intra-institutional deliberation ‘ .

The broadening of the Union led to a deepening of the integrating procedure. De Witte ( 2002, p. 236 ) believes that the Treaties ‘all led to an extension of the range of EU policy ‘ . The Maastricht Treaty even introduced new establishments: the Committee of the Regions and the European Central Bank.

De Witte ( 2002, p. 236 ) points out that due to the enlargement procedure:

In the countries of internal market and societal ordinance, there was a pronounced displacement off from unanimity towards qualified bulk vote in the Council and a major addition in the function of the straight elected European Parliament, which developed into a co-legislator with the Council.

Institutional reform was a major concern for the member provinces. The increasing figure of states fall ining the EU led to the proposal to take the rule that every member province should hold at least one national in the Commission. Alternatively it was suggested that the Commission members would be reduced to a manageable figure ( maximal 20, but sooner even less ) . Then a rotary motion system would be set up where all member provinces would hold their bend to name members of the Commission. However, non all would be represented at the same clip in order to maintain the establishment more efficient ( De Witte, 2002 ) .

This reform was one of the chief proposals of the Lisbon Treaty. Yet, it was rejected by Ireland and hence it was non enacted when the Treaty came into force in December 2009.

The Conditionss

The conditions to fall in the EU became stricter particularly after the terminal of the Cold War in the 1990s. Harmonizing to Rehn ( 2005 ) :

The EU sets a high criterion for rank. Candidate provinces are non merely fall ining a geographic or economic axis ; they are fall ining a community of Torahs and values. New members must implement reforms that enable their authoritiess and societies to run into EU duties, frequently necessitating to beef up and overhaul their establishments, judicial systems, and public disposal.

The chief status of rank for the first four unit of ammunitions of expansion was the entire credence of the acquis. Michalski ( 2006, p. 273 ) defines the acquis as ‘the pacts and the subsequent statute law enacted in the model of the Union ‘ . By the clip of the 4th expansion ( 1995 ) it consisted of 80,000 pages of regulations and ordinances. It is divided into 35 chapters that ‘range from free motion of goods to agriculture to competition ‘ ( Archick, 2008, p. 3 ) .

The debut of the Copenhagen Criteria in 1993, was another impact of the procedure of expansion on the EU political relations and policy procedure. The EU states wanted to protect the Union model ‘from a dilution of aims, a atomization of policies, and a dislocation of institutional constructions ‘ ( Michalski, 2006, p. 274 ) .

The Copenhagen Criteria made it clear that new member provinces should carry through certain demands:

[ the ] stableness of establishments vouching democracy, the regulation of jurisprudence, human rights and regard for and protection of minorities, the being of a working market economic system every bit good as the capacity to get by with the competitory force per unit area and market forces within the Union. Membership presupposes the campaigner ‘s ability to take on the duties of rank including attachment to the purposes of political, economic and pecuniary brotherhood. ( European Council, 1993 )

Good neighborly dealingss among campaigners and between campaigner and non-candidate states were besides indispensable to fall in the Union.

The Six Expansions: A Comparative Approach

Before discoursing the expansions of the EU, it is of import to travel into the function of the Commission in the expansions.

At foremost the Commission concerned itself more with the socio-economic facet of the campaigner states. Yet, with the broadening of the EU ‘s policy range and the debut of the Copenhagen Criteria besides analysed ‘the political state of affairs, the province of democracy, the hardiness of the institutional substructure, the province of the economic system, the campaigner ‘s place on the universe phase, and dealingss with neighboring states ‘ ( Michalski, 2006, p. 277 ) .

The Commission twice recommended the Council to reject a rank application: the 1976 Greek application and the 1997 Slovakian application. During the accession talks the chief purpose of the Commission is to protect the acquis and to guarantee it is applied after the accession ( Ibid, pp. 277-280 ) .

When Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway applied to come in the EEC in the early 1960s, it meant that the Community had to do certain reforms in order to suit such an expansion. In fact, this expansion found the greatest resistance when compared with other expansions as it was strongly opposed and twice blocked by France.

President De Gaulle feared that Britain would force the EEC in an Atlanticist way and therefore ‘undermine its independency counterpart the US ‘ ( Michalski, 2006, p. 281 ) . The Gallic besides feared that Britain ‘s strong economic and agribusiness involvements within the Commonwealth would negatively impact the EEC ‘s policies and cut down its credibleness worldwide ( Moravcsik, 1998 ) .

De Gaulle blocked Britain ‘s 2nd application in 1967. He was critical of Britain ‘s motivations and concerned about the possible impact this state would do on the community ( De Gaulle, 1967 ) . It was merely in the 1969 Hague Summit when the new Gallic President, Pompidou, made it clear that he would non oppose Britain ‘s entry in the Community. ‘Completion, Deepening and Enlargement ‘ were declared as the chief purposes of the Community ( Michalski, 2006, p. 281 ) .

The construct of intensifying made apparent the Community ‘s desire for more economic integrating, including close coordination of national pecuniary and economic policies. It was merely one time this proviso, and a new fiscal ordinance on which the CAP depended, were in topographic point that the EEC would be ready for its first expansion ( Pompidou, 1969 ) .

Britain, Ireland and Denmark joined the Community in 1973. This expansion was non smooth ; in fact, I think that it was the most complicated one when compared to the other five expansions. Britain ‘s little agricultural sector meant that its budget part to the Community was higher than its per capita GDP warranted ( Michalski, 2006, p. 282 ) . To this really twenty-four hours Britain remains one of the most doubting states towards the EU.

The southern expansion was, harmonizing to Michalski ( 2006, p. 283 ) ‘primarily a political measure ‘ . In order to welcome former absolutisms within the Community, the EEC members were ready to set political relations before economic benefits. Greece joined in the 2nd expansion ( 1981 ) , while Spain and Portugal joined in the 3rd expansion ( 1986 ) . The economic and political modernisation of these states was of import for the regional security and the Cold War struggle.

Rehn ( 2005 ) points out that:

The attraction of EU rank helped Greece, Spain, and Portugal make the successful passage from absolutism to democracy prior to accession in the 1980s. In add-on to constructing democratic establishments, the states improved their human rights records, expanded the regulation of jurisprudence, and opened economic markets. Today, all three states serve as success narratives for European integrating.

Although the southern expansion was smoother than the 1973 1, there were some issues with Spain over the CAP policy and the piscaries sector. Nevertheless, understanding was rapidly reached. This shows the Community ‘s avidity to widen its district.

The EEA ( European Economic Area ) was proposed by Jacques Delors to cover the EFTA states in a incorporate European market. However, when the Cold War ended this understanding was non deemed to be good plenty any longer. This led Austria, Finland, Sweden and Norway to use for rank in the Union ( Michalski, 2006, p. 286 ) .

The expansion of these EFTA states was the smoothest and most rapid one in the EU ‘s history. Apart from being modern market economic systems, these states were already utilizing two tierces of the acquis and would besides be net subscribers to the EU ‘s budget one time they joined ( Ibid ) . Merely Norwegians rejected to come in the Union.

Svetlicic and Trtnik ( 1999, p. 70 ) believe that the doors for expansion were merely officially opened in 1993 with the Treaty of Maastricht. This pact surely encouraged European provinces to fall in ; in fact, the 2004 expansion was the biggest in the EU ‘s history as Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta joined. The Union members were increased to 25 ( EUROPA, 2010 ) .

This expansion offered stableness and prosperity to the EU citizens in Eastern and Central Europe which had suffered under communism. Since it was such a large expansion, the impact on the EU political relations and policy procedure was clear. The pacts of Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice were all carried out in readying for it. The Commission even produced a papers that presented a vision of an hypertrophied Europium: ‘Agenda 2000 ‘ . In Michalski ‘s ( 2006, p. 289 ) words: ‘This expansion, more than of all time before, pushed the Union to accommodate its ain constructions, policy governments, and political kineticss to let for the integrating of the new member provinces ‘ .

The entry of 10 new states in the EU brought major alteration which was a cause for concern for many. There were besides fears that the new states would non implement the acquis right. In June 2006 the EU leaders agreed that future expansions would ‘take into history the Union ‘s capacity to absorb new members ‘ ( EUROPA, 2010 ) . This ‘Strategy on Enlargement ‘ showed that the ‘enlargement weariness ‘ was turning among the EU member provinces. Harmonizing to Archick ( 2008, p. 6 ) ‘it called for the EU to honour its current committednesss with prospective members but to stay “ cautious ” about presuming any new committednesss ‘ .

On the other manus, Svetlicic and Trtnik ( 1999 ) believe that expansions are in the best involvement of the EU member provinces because they are the best warrant of a durable peace, prosperity and security in Europe.

The 2007 expansion brought Bulgaria and Romania in the Union even though the EU Commission believes that these states were non truly ready to fall in the EU. However, as it is argued in an article of the BBC ( 2007 ) , it is better to hold Romania and Bulgaria in the Union ‘under menace of strong countenances if the EU financess are non decently administered or offense packs continue to boom – instead than go forthing them out in the cold ‘ .

More states applied to fall in the EU. Negotiations with Turkey and Croatia started in October 2005, and Macedonia was named an official EU campaigner in December 2006. Iceland and the Balkan states besides showed involvement in fall ining the Union ( EUROPA, 2010 ) .

The procedure of expansion increased the member states well. This led the Union to see options to full rank particularly because certain states ( like Turkey ) do non yet fulfil the necessary standards to fall in the EU ( Michalski, 2006, p. 292 ) .

Rehn ( 2005 ) besides gives prominence to the European Vicinity Policy ( ENP ) which was chiefly developed ‘to portion the benefits of expansion ‘ with the EU ‘s immediate neighbors ( including African states ) . The map below shows these ENP states.

Beginning: Rehn ( 2005 )

The EU purposes to collaborate with the ENP states on ‘political, economic, security, and cultural personal businesss to progress stableness, prosperity, and security while forestalling the development of new spliting lines between the hypertrophied EU and its neighbors ‘ ( Rehn, 2005 ) .


Michalski ( 2006, p. 292 ) wrote that ‘with each accession, the original “ contract ” between member provinces has been reshaped to reflect a new state of affairs ‘ . I agree with this statement. Throughout this assignment I argued that the changeless procedure of expansion had a large impact on the EU political relations and policy procedure.

The BBC ( 2007 ) article made a batch of statements against expansions. Mass in-migration, the payment of immense subsidies the rich states have to do to poorer provinces and that the more the EU widens the more hard it would go to accomplish deep integrating. Those in favor of enlargement argue that expansion helped to distribute stableness and prosperity round the continent, therefore giving Europe more influence worldwide. It is besides argued that in-migration helps to increase economic growing, while the richer member provinces ‘gain more from being members of a big individual market than they pay out in transportations to the poorer states ‘ ( BBC, 2007 ) .

Expansion has become one of the EU ‘s most powerful foreign policy instruments. Michalski ( 2006, p. 292 ) points out that ‘the chance of rank has become a powerful motive for modernisation and democratisation in states ‘ .

Jean Monnet one time said: ‘To construct Europe is to construct peace ‘ . However I agree with how Rehn ( 2005 ) paraphrased this: ‘To enlarge the EU is to construct peace ‘ . The promises of peace, stableness, integrity and more order were why the Europium members have been ever ready to do reforms in the EU system in order to suit expansions.