Europe United? The Impact of the EU’s Eastern Enlargement, Five Years on
26 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 22, 2009
The ‘eastern enlargement’ of the European Union in 2004 and 2007 marked the unification of Western and Eastern Europe, yet many scholars feared negative consequences of enlargement - both for the institutions of the EU, which were expected to encounter gridlock in a Union of 27, and possibly for the new members themselves as the end of ‘conditionality’ might lead to backsliding on political or economic reforms. Despite these concerns, a growing body of EU scholarship has begun to explore both questions, and the results give substantial grounds for optimism. EU institutions have proven remarkably adaptable in the face of enlargement, while the new member states show little or no signs of backsliding, remaining committed to democracy, the rule of law and free markets.
Keywords: European Union, enlargement, central and eastern Europe, institutions, European Commission, Council of the European Union
JEL Classification: F02, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation