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In or Out: Interpretation of European Union Membership Criteria and its Effect on the EU Accession Process for Candidate and Potential Member States of Southeastern Europe

Since 1973, the European Union has been expanding its borders from its six founding members - West Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium, to include all of Western Europe and parts of Scandinavia by 1995. However, with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, the EU made a difficult but beneficial choice of paving the road for the Eastern and Central European (ECE) to become EU members. However, there was a need for the EU to determine the goals and guidelines that would format the transition of these former communist states into productive members of the EU. This paper will analyze the evolution of these guidelines - formally outlined by the Copenhagen Criteria - that set the precedent for these states to become members. The main issue of this paper will take these criteria a few steps forward, comparing states that were given membership based on the criteria and those who have been established by the EU as at least "potential EU members" but have not been deemed as satisfying these criteria enough to become candidates or full members. Both qualitatively and quantitatively, the comparisions of the 2004 and 2007 new EU members and other states of the Western Balkans and Turkey will be conducted to determine if the political and economic guidelines established by Copenhagen are the only guidelines being met, or if areas such as cultural values and "Europeanness" are also contributing to membership levels.
Date01 January 2011
CreatorsRasmussen, Ashley Marie
Source SetsPortland State University
Detected LanguageEnglish
SourceDissertations and Theses

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