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To what extent, and in what ways, has the constant process of enlargement, impacted on the EU politics and policy process - Essay Example

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To what extent, and in what ways, has the constant process of enlargement, impacted on the EU politics and policy process? The creation of the European Union, in 1957, was considered as the most effective way for the Union to improve its position in the global market and to increase its power in critical global issues – for instance, the management of energy sources or the environment…
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To what extent, and in what ways, has the constant process of enlargement, impacted on the EU politics and policy process
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Extract of sample "To what extent, and in what ways, has the constant process of enlargement, impacted on the EU politics and policy process"

Download file to see previous pages The above issue is discussed in this paper; emphasis is given on the value of enlargement as a tool for strengthening the political and economic position of EU; the impact of enlargement on various EU politics and processes is also examined taking into consideration the fact that enlargement is a demanding process requiring a long period of preparation and being related to certain risks – especially because of the different political, social and economic patterns of European countries. It is proved that the enlargement processes developed in the European Union up today have all affected, more or less, the EU politics and processes; however, among them, it is the fifth enlargement process which most influenced EU politics and policies. For the above reason, the fifth enlargement, which developed in two phases, in 2004 and 2007, is extensively discussed in this paper using the literature published in the particular field. When the European Union was first established – initially, as a European Community – in 1957 (Treaty of Rome), no term was set regarding the development of a Community regional policy (Bache 31). The reference to economic activities, which would be initiated by the entire member states –jointly – could be possibly, regarded as such policy, even not clearly. Through the decades, it was made clear that the achievement of the targets of the Union would be a challenging task. For this reason, the need for its expansion was through to be unavoidable – a practice which was proved particularly helpful towards the development and the strengthening of European Union so that to become a major force in the global market. In its initial form, the European Union had 6 states – today, its members are estimated to 27, as a result of 5 enlargements. The specific processes have been used in order to increase the power of EU within the international community but also in order to promote integration across the European Union. Among these enlargements the one which is most important is the fifth one developed into two phases: the first phase took place in 2004 and the second in 2007. Through the fifth enlargement – a process that has been characterized as the most important strategic decision of the EU in the 21st century (Europa, Enlargement 2011) – the European Union was significantly expanded acquiring 12 new members (Europa, Enlargement 2011). The criteria and the terms of enlargement – as one of the European Union’s key processes – are included in the ‘article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union’ (Europa, Enlargement 2011). In accordance with the above article, the key priority of the enlargement process is to ensure that the applicant countries are adequately prepared so that to meet their obligations – as stated by the relevant EU rules; of course, the legislative, political and social characteristics of each candidate country are taken into consideration when these processes are developed. However, in any case, it needs to be ensured that the candidate countries will be able to respond to their obligations – as members of the Union – and to align their policies/ rules with those of the Union (Europa, Enlargement 2011). At this point, it would be necessary to refer briefly to the history of enlargements ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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