Go to any (online) bookshop and look for books on EU enlargement. Unlike a few years ago, you will find a considerable number. Of these, however, many will cost 50 Euros or more. Most bear incredibly dull and unimaginative titles, their style academic and dry. There are no bestsellers on EU enlargement – the most significant geostrategic development of post-war Europe. In fact, there is no single book providing a gripping comprehensive narrative of the enlargement process and its meaning for Europe.
This section is not intended as an encyclopaedic bibliography of enlargement literature, but as a selective collection of interesting concepts, ideas and insights – by various people of different backgrounds – about the EU and enlargement. If you have additional suggestions for innovative ideas and concepts to be included here, please contact Kristof Bender.
Europe’s Great Transformation
A new European narrative
"We don’t know why we have an EU or what it’s good for. So we urgently need a new narrative."
The Great Transformation
"I am convinced that what took place in Central Eastern Europe during the past decade and a half is an unparalleled success story in history."
"The most straightforward way to understand how people have coped with transformation is to ask them."
Europe’s "invisible hand"
"Europe doesn’t change countries by threatening to invade them: its biggest threat is having nothing to do with them at all."
The EU as the saviour of the nation state
"To supersede the nation-state would be to destroy the Community."
Europe’s transformative power
"Soft power rests on the ability to shape the preferences of others."
The EU’s transformative power
"The attraction of accession proved to be more powerful than other goals."
Passive and active EU leverage
"Once a state becomes deeply enmeshed in the European Union’s pre-accession process, the high costs of pulling out of this process motivate even previously illiberal ruling parties to adopt a political strategy that embraces qualifying for EU membership."
The Europeanisation of Eastern Europe
"Once a given issue area became subject of the EU’s conditionality, rule adoption increased dramatically and became a consistent feature across countries and issue areas."
EU accession as emulation
"Social science techniques for understanding such complex process are underdeveloped."
Europeanisation in the EU
Democratic conditionality after EU accession
"There is no general pattern of backtracking, aside from some national-specific cases like Poland and Slovakia over political control in their civil services."
The "eastern problem" revisited
"The performance of the EU8 is not only better on average, but almost every individual EU8 [country] also performed better than almost every old member state."
The Europeanisation of EU member states
"In general, no single EU member state investigated in this volume is more likely than others to change its institutional structure in response to Europeanization pressures."
The Europeanisation of Greece
"Because of EU membership, the Greek state, while forced to abandon a host of economic functions and activities, was at the same time led by the EU’s impact and dynamics to assume new functions and develop policies that otherwise it might not have developed at all."
The Europeanisation and democratisation of Portugal
"Europeanisation meant not only modernization, but also democratization of policy-formulation, policy-making and policy implementation processes."
The political economy of EU enlargement
"Democratic legitimacy in Europe is at risk."
Limited democratic politics
"What is missing is the substantive content of democracy: a battle for control of political power and the policy agenda at the European level."
EU enlargement as rational choice
"The European democratic deficit is a myth."
The regatta model
"Leaving somebody behind – awaiting another ‘wave’ in an uncertain future – could take away the pressure for reform and modernisation in the countries left on the shore."
The Making of the New Europe
"The fifth enlargement was an impressive demonstration of how effective the European Union’s strange, hybrid, European Council-centred system can be."
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