Insight Turkey
Insight Turkey
Challenging ideas
On Turkish politics and International affairs

Insight Turkey > Articles |

(Ir)relevance of Croatian Experience for Further EU Enlargement

Croatia’s experience of the EU accession and that of its six-year membership is only partially relevant for the Western Balkans’ EU enlargement. This is contrary to the official narrative used by the European Commission and Croatian officials. The Commission explains that Croatia’s accession attests that the whole of the Western Balkans can one day join the EU. Moreover, Croatia says that EU enlargement in the Western Balkans is in its national interest. However, liberal regression in Croatia shows why in future enlargements more emphasis needs to be placed on entrenchment of liberal values. Croatia advocates enlargement, but its capacity to influence the EU or its will to constructively contribute to progress in the Western Balkan are limited.

Ir relevance of Croatian Experience for Further EU Enlargement
Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic arrives on the second day of a European summit in Brussels, December 14, 2018. ALASTAIR GRANT / AFP / Getty Images
 

Introduction

Since the European Union (EU) decided to open its door to former communist countries, it had three rounds of enlargement. In the so-called ‘big bang enlargement’ in 2004, the EU admitted ten new members –three Baltic countries, four Visegrad countries, Malta, Cyprus, and Slovenia. In 2007, Bulgaria and Romania joined, and Croatia in 2013. Europeanization studies defined enlargement as a new phenomenon that belongs to the field of European integration but possesses distinctively separate characteristics in terms of policy issues, relations between states and its impact on, primarily, acceding states. Europeanization theorists explained how EU rules, in a top-down approach, are being transposed into a candidate state making significant changes in a domestic environment.1 Later work on Europeanization deepened the analysis by including the study of local actors. It was not enough to study how enlargement is affecting candidate countries, but also how these countries are affecting enlargement. Local actors are not necessarily passive recipients or responsive enthusiastic partners. More often than not, they resist change, fake reforms, or actively subvert the process.2

Already have an account? Sign In.
Print Subscription
4 Print Issues
Subscribe
Digital Subscription
4 Digital Issues
Subscribe
Premium Subscription
4 Print Issues
4 Digital Issues
Subscribe

Labels »  

We use cookies in a limited and restricted manner for specific purposes. For more details, you can see "our data policy". More...