Will further EU enlargement cause a crisis in the EU? An analysis


Seminar Paper, 2016

18 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Excerpt

Table of Contents

List of tables

1 Introduction

2 Historical background and current developments of EU enlargement
2.1 From six states to 28 – Short History of the EU enlargement
2.2 Potential candidates and candidate countries

3 The accession process
3.1 Conditions for membership and important steps of the accession process
3.2 Legal basis and objectives of the European Union

4 Selected Challenges for the EU caused by enlargement
4.1 Effects on the running of the EU institutions
4.2 . Selected economic challenges caused by enlargement
4.2.1 . Demands on structural funds
4.2.2 Unemployment in the EU
4.3 The future of EU enlargement: Will further EU enlargement cause a crisis in the EU?

5 Conclusion

References list

List of tables

Table 1 Unemployment/Youth unemployment EU

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Eurostat (2015)

Table 2: Unemployment rate Candiate Countries

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Eurostat (2015)

Table 3: GDP in Capita per PPS

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Eurostat (2015)

1 Introduction

Since its foundation the European Union has expanded several times. At the beginning only 6 member states were part of the EU. In more than 50 years a lot more European states joined the European Union. Each expansion changed the European Union regarding cultural, economical and geographical aspects. Enlargement has always been an important topic for the EU and will also be important in the near future.

Enlargement has a high impact on the European Union. This causes both positive and negative effects for the organization. The following seminar paper focuses on challenges and negative effects caused by the EU enlargement. Based on the potential challenges, it will focus on the question, whether further EU enlargement will cause a crisis in the European Union.

The seminar paper is structured in four chapters.

The first chapters give a short overview about the history of the EU Enlargement and explain the process of enlargement in detail. Following this, selected economic challenges and effects on the running of the EU caused by enlargement will be presented and discussed against the backdrop of the question, whether further EU enlargement can cause a crisis in the EU.

The seminar paper will only focus on selected economic challenges and challenges for the institutions of the EU because of the limited number of pages.

2 Historical background and current developments of EU enlargement

2.1 From six states to 28 – Short History of the EU enlargement

The Treaty of Rome, which was signed on 25 March 1957, set up the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community.[1] The establishment of these two communities was the beginning of a Union between European states. Six European states signed the Treaty of Rome. These six founding countries were Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.[2]

Since the foundation of the EU, six phases of enlargement took place. The first enlargement was in 1973. Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined and the former EC increased from 6 to 9 member states.

The second and third enlargements took place in the 1980s. In 1981 Greece joined the EC, followed by Portugal and Spain in 1986. In 1995 Austria and the Scandinavian countries Sweden and Finland joined the EU. In 2004, eight Central and Eastern European states joined the EU. In addition to that, Malta and Cyprus joined the EU. This enlargement was the fifth Enlargement of the European Union and the largest enlargement so far. In 2007 Bulgaria and Romania achieved the EU membership. The membership of the two states was delayed, but the accession of Romania and Bulgaria completed the fifth enlargement.[3] In 2013 Croatia joined the European Union and is now the 28th country of the EU.[4]

2.2 Potential candidates and candidate countries

It is important to focus on the potential candidate countries and especially the candidate countries, while analysing challenges caused by enlargement.

Candidate Countries for a EU Membership are the Balkan states Albania, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. All these states have applied for membership. Serbia and Montenegro have already started the negotiations. Furthermore, Turkey is a candidate since its application in 1987 and has started the negotiations with the EU in 2005. Since then, not much progress has been achieved. The Turkish membership has always been surrounded by controversy regarding the size of the country, its geographical and geopolitical situation and the protection of human and minority rights.[5]

Eight negotiations chapters will currently not be opened until Turkey agrees to apply the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Association Agreement to Cyprus.[6]

Potential candidate countries for the EU membership are Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.[7]

3 The accession process

3.1 Conditions for membership and important steps of the accession process

The treaty of the European Union says, that any European state may apply for membership, if it respects the values of the EU and is committed to promoting them. A further step is that the country meets the so-called Copenhagen criteria, the key criteria for accession.[8]

According to Article 49 of the TEU the membership application has to be addressed to the European Council. In addition to that, the European Parliament has to support the application and the Commission has to be consulted. The Council has to support the application unanimously after consulting the Commission and after receiving the assent of the EP.

If the application for membership is successful and the country becomes an official candidate for membership, the process of accession begins. The process is managed and coordinated by the Commission’s Enlargement Directorate-General.[9]

The negotiations concern 35 different policy fields/chapters of the acquis communautaire and take place between ministers and ambassadors of the EU governments and the candidate country.

The process of membership negotiations involves the adoption of EU law, preparations to be in a position to properly apply and enforce the EU Law and implementation of judicial, administrative, economic and other reforms necessary for the country to meet the conditions for joining. The negotiations are based on the screening by the Commission and on the negotiating positions.

The Commission carries out a detailed examination, the so-called screening, together with the candidate country. Each policy field or chapter will be examined to see how well the country is prepared. The information about the countries progresses are presented in the Commission’s screening reports. A candidate country must submit its position and the EU must adopt a common position before the negotiations in each chapters/policy fields can start. The candidate Country has to meet benchmarks in each policy field set by the EU before the chapters/policy fields can be closed. If every EU government is satisfied with the candidate’s progress in a policy field, the individual chapter can be closed. The negotiation process is concluded, if every chapter has been closed. The country can join the EU, when the negotiations and accompanying reforms have been completed. The membership of the country is then confirmed with the accession treaty. The document contains i.e. detailed terms and conditions for membership. The candidate becomes an acceding country, if the treaty is signed.[10]

3.2 Legal basis and objectives of the European Union

One important objective of the EU’s enlargement policy is to guarantee peace, security and stability in Europe.[11] Furthermore the EU aims to unite European countries in a common political and economic project. This also helps to improve the EU’s presence on the global stage. The legal basis of the European enlargement is Article 49, Article 6 and Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.[12] Article 49 of the TEU defines criteria for the membership application. According to article 49 any applicant state can apply if it respects the values of Article 2. This means that it respects the principles of liberty and democracy and shows respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.[13] Article 49 sets out the conditions and Article 6 the principles to which an applicant country can become a EU member state. In addition to that the membership requires that the country meet the Copenhagen criteria. Those political and economic criteria say, among other things, that the country must have stable institutions that guarantee democracy, that it has a functioning market economy, that it implements the acquis communautaire effectively and that it has the ability to take on the obligations of membership.[14]

4 Selected Challenges for the EU caused by enlargement

The following chapter analyses selected challenges and negative effects for the European Union caused by further enlargement with focus on the candidate countries.

4.1 Effects on the running of the EU institutions

The enlargement of the EU has effects on the decision-making processes and the working of the EU institutions.[15]

First of all, each enlargement of the European Union causes an increase of employed officials and of the MEP’s. It is a logical consequence, that further EU enlargement will also enlarge the institutions of the EU.

If we take a closer look at the past enlargements, especially the 5th enlargement of the European Union, it can be identified that enlargement increased the number of employed officials. The 5th enlargement caused an increase of employed officials about 19 per cent. Because of the fact that the majority of employed officials are linguists, the number of official languages and language combinations also increases with each enlargement.[16] The increasing number of employed officials and MEP’s and the new languages will especially have consequences for the work of the European Parliament (EP). The meetings and the legislative work will take longer and might be more complex in future, because of more new languages and language combinations. A potential risk is, that the quality of the meetings and the legislative in the European Parliament will suffer and the holding of meetings will have greater constrains, with some working languages not available. The day-to-day impacts of the new languages are greater for the European Parliament than for other institutions. The EP might expect a certain slowing-down of business as a result of enlargement. Another aspect is the enlarged administrative work, especially for the EP. Regarding the accession of Turkey and the Balkan states, the EU will be confronted with much more MEPs.[17] The EP has currently 751 members.[18] Turkey is likely to be entitled to more MEPs than any other country but Germany. If the Balkan states would also come in, the size and the structure of the EP would increase significantly and the EP will have more than 751 MEPs.

As a consequence, the parliament would be faced with the invidious choice of becoming larger or of reducing the size of most national delegations. This would cause a risk for smaller countries in the EP. They might fell insufficiently represented within the parliament.[19]

The European Council will also be enlarged, if the EU has more member states. The pressure of the Council’s meetings will be bigger than today, because the number of decision-making participants increases with each enlargement. After each enlargement, the Commission is like the other institutions also confronted with a quantitative impact.[20]

4.2. Selected economic challenges caused by enlargement

4.2.1. Demands on structural funds

The states that joined the EU in the 5th and 6th enlargement were all poorer than the EU average. This trend will continue, if the EU enlarges further to southern-east Europe in the future.[21] Current statistics from Eurostat and the World Bank show that the GDP per capita of all candidate countries is below the EU average. The current economic growth rates of those countries are about 2 per cent each year, in Serbia they were even -1.8 per cent in 2014.[22] The GDP per capita in all countries is lower than the EU average. In Albania, Serbia and Macedonia the GDP per capita is currently approximately one third of the average GDP of the EU 28. In comparison to the Balkan states, Turkey is the candidate country with the highest GDP and a promising economic growth rate of 2.9 per cent, but its GDP is still only the half of the EU 28 average.[23] (See also table 3)

With those growth rates and current economic situation, it will take 25 to 60 years for those countries to reach the average GDP of the EU member states. These trends might seem the existing member states better off, but the EU funding will also go to the new members as a consequence. The EU already helps the candidate countries and potential candidates with the so-called IPA (Instrument for Pre-accession assistance). A funding of 11.7 billion Euros that helps the candidates to make political and economic reforms and to prepare for the obligations of the EU membership.[24] It seems possible that it will be necessary to give them further funding because of their economic situation, if they are member states of the European Union.

But if the EU enlarges further in the near future, it must also keep in mind that it has also to respond to budgetary demands of the poorer member states. We can see that Spain, Greece and Portugal are currently confronted by big economic challenges. The funding for those member states who are hardly better off than the candidate countries will be reduced in case of further enlargement, because the EU will have to respond to the budgetary demands of the new member states, especially to those of the Balkan states. So it seems possible that further EU enlargement will create tensions about the allocation of resources and might deepen the economic problems of its member states.[25]

4.2.2 Unemployment in the EU

The economic crisis had a big impact on the member states of the European Union and especially on the candidate countries from southern-east Europe.[26] It caused an increase of unemployment in those countries that would like to become members of the European Union. According to recent statistics from Eurostat, the current unemployment and youth unemployment rates in nearly all candidate countries except from Turkey are very high.

If we take a closer look at the youth unemployment and the unemployment rate from 2014, it can be identified that the rates in all Balkan states are above the EU 28 average of 10.2 per cent (see table 1). The situation in Serbia and Macedonia seems very bad, with youth unemployment rates of 47.1 and 53.1 percent and unemployment rates of 18.9 and 28 per cent[27] (see table 2). The European Commission’s progress reports also show that the candidate countries from the Balkan states, especially Serbia and Macedonia only made a small progress to reduce unemployment and in Albania the situation even got worse.[28]

With a view on the unemployment and youth unemployment rates in the EU, it could be also identified that Greece, Spain, Croatia and Portugal have to cope with unemployment and youth unemployment too. Both the unemployment and the youth unemployment rate of these countries are higher than the average of the EU. Greece and Spain have the biggest problems when it comes to unemployment and youth unemployment. (see table 1) They are the member states with the highest unemployment rates within the EU.[29]

With focus on the current unemployment rates of both the member states and the candidate countries, it could be possible that the accession of new members could be accompanied by new problems regarding unemployment and youth unemployment.

[...]


[1] Cf. Cini and Pérez-Solórzano Borragàn (2010), p. 5

[2] Cf. Fontaine (2014), p. 6

[3] Cf. Barnes and Barnes (2010), p. 420

[4] Cf. European Commission (2016): http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/countries/detailed-country-information/croatia/index_en.htm

[5] Cf. Juncos and Pérez-Solórzano Borragán (2013), p. 237

[6] Cf. European Commission (2016): http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/countries/detailed-country-information/turkey/index_en.htm

[7] Cf. European Commission (2016)

[8] Cf. European Commission (2016): http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/policy/conditions-membership/index_en.htm

[9] Cf. Barnes and Barnes (2010), p. 424

[10] Cf. European Commission (2013): http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/policy/steps-towards-joining/index_en.htm

[11] Cf. EU Enlargement Strategy (2015), p. 2

[12] Cf. European Parliament (2016): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_6.5.1.html

[13] Cf. Barnes and Barnes (2010), p. 423

[14] Cf. European Commission (2012): http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/policy/glossary/terms/accession-criteria_en.htm

[15] Cf. Jacobs and Best (2004), p. 15

[16] Cf. Barnes and Barnes (2010), p. 429

[17] Cf. Jacobs and Best (2014), p. 16

[18] Cf. European Parliament (2016): http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/de/map.html

[19] Cf. Jacobs and Best (2004), p. 16

[20] Cf. Best et al. (2008), pp.82

[21] Cf. Barnes and Barnes, p. 430

[22] Cf. World Bank (2015)

[23] Cf. Eurostat (2015)

[24] Cf. European Commission (2015): http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/instruments/overview/index_en.htm

[25] Cf. Barnes and Barnes, pp. 434

[26] Cf. Juncos and Pérez-Solórzano Borragán (2013), p. 237

[27] Cf. Eurostat (2015)

[28] Cf. European Commission (2015)– Progress Report Serbia, Progress Report Macedonia, Progress Report Albania

[29] Cf. Eurostat (2015)

Excerpt out of 18 pages

Details

Title
Will further EU enlargement cause a crisis in the EU? An analysis
College
University of Applied Sciences Aschaffenburg
Grade
1,7
Author
Year
2016
Pages
18
Catalog Number
V341967
ISBN (eBook)
9783668318847
ISBN (Book)
9783668318854
File size
1077 KB
Language
English
Tags
will, European Union, Enlargement, Analysis
Quote paper
Julian Rudolf (Author), 2016, Will further EU enlargement cause a crisis in the EU? An analysis, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/341967

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