The process of enlargement has transformed the European Union. It has had far-reaching implications for the shape and definition of Europe and for the institutional set-up and the major policies of the Union. This has been accomplished through a number of enlargement rounds which the first section of the chapter analyses in detail. This is followed by a review of the enlargement process itself with a focus on the use of conditionality and the role of the main actors involved. The contributions of neo-functionalism, liberal intergovernmentalism and social constructivism to explain the EU’s geographical expansion is evaluated in the third section of the chapter. The success and prospect of future enlargement are discussed in the context of wider EU developments, especially the effect of the financial crisis in the Euro area, the so-called ‘enlargement fatigue’ and the domestic challenges in the countries hoping to join the Union.
|Title of host publication||European Union Politics|
|Editors||Nieves Perez-Solorzano Borragan, Michelle Cini|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Jan 2013|