Transforming the Balkans? Lesson Learning and Institutional Reflexivity in the EU Enlargement Approach

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    Abstract

    European Union (EU) enlargement has important implications for the political and economic transition for the candidate and ‘potential’ candidate states of the Western Balkans. Similarly, the enlargement approach has effects on the functionality of EU enlargement. The article explores the development of the relationships between the EU and the Balkans and the politics and functionality of EU enlargement approach. The article examines how through a process of lesson learning and institutional refl exivity the development of the EU enlargement approach has impacted the technical and political basis and operation of the EU enlargement approach. This has evolved because of the interplay of factors, which includes institutional refl exivity within and among key agencies. Consequently, the EU has significantly extended political conditionality, the timeframe for accession, and the mechanisms for enlargement. Hence, the article concludes that EU enlargement has conformed to the policy-learning model with consequences for the enlargement to the Balkans.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)547-563
    JournalEuropean Foreign Affairs Review
    Volume14
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009

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