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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2020): 0.5


Full article in PDF format | DOI: 10.3176/tr.2009.3.02

Viljar Veebel

The concept of positive conditionality has been seenas ‘the golden carrot’ of the EU’s external relations, enlargement and neighbourhood policies. Regarded as a mutually important and valuable method of partnership between the EU and its partner countries to develop social, political and economic progress with an effective motivation system, positive conditionality is nowadays used in areas ranging from development cooperation to neighbourhood policy, and most successfully in the enlargement agenda. The EU and its member states have characterised conditionality as a functional cooperation or pre-accession method of integration, where guidance and strict rules are needed to provide effective convergence with the EU and to support transitional societies in the modernisa­tion process. The motivation of conditionality has been characterised as functional and in the mutual interests of both the target states and the EU. This paper will study the driving force behind the pre-accession conditionality from the first to fifth enlargements: has it been a neo-functional motive to support the fulfilment of accession criteria by candidates, or a neo-imperial motive to use the accession conditionality mainly in the interests of the existing member states to fix their advantages in economic and political affairs? This paper will offer a comparative analysis on the pre-accession situation, conditionality levels and argumentation of motivation for the first five EU enlargements.
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