Compliance in the EU Enlargement Process: The Limits of Conditionality

EIoP, Vol. 11, No. 5, 2007

22 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2007

See all articles by Bernard Steunenberg

Bernard Steunenberg

Institute of Public Administration, Campus Den Haag

Antoaneta L. Dimitrova

Leiden University - Campus the Hague- Department of Public Administration

Abstract

In this article we analyze the effectiveness of EU conditionality. Viewing accession negotiations as a bargaining game, we find incentives to defect exist if the final date of accession is known, but conditions for cooperation prevail if the date is not known. Therefore we find that regardless of domestic conditions, EU conditionality is not equally effective throughout the period of preparation of a candidate for accession. Its effectiveness decreases sharply when the accession date is set and at that stage, as empirical evidence shows, the EU accepts the candidate's state of reforms as sufficient. This can lead to potential problems with the transposition of EU directives just before and after accession. Our empirical overview shows that by means of breaking the process of enlargement into multiple stages and attaching conditions to the attaining every stage, the EU has aimed to prevent candidates from abandoning reform efforts by increasing their uncertainty about the final date of accession.

Keywords: enlargement, implementation, game theory, Central and Eastern Europe, political science, law, economics

Suggested Citation

Steunenberg, Bernard and Dimitrova, Antoaneta L., Compliance in the EU Enlargement Process: The Limits of Conditionality. EIoP, Vol. 11, No. 5, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=995976

Bernard Steunenberg (Contact Author)

Institute of Public Administration, Campus Den Haag ( email )

P.O. Box 13228
Den Haag, 2501EE
Netherlands

Antoaneta L. Dimitrova

Leiden University - Campus the Hague- Department of Public Administration ( email )

Schouwburgstraat 2
the Hague
Netherlands

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