The chapter claims that the European Union (EU) has increasingly utilised enlargement as an instrument for attaining foreign policy objectives. Enlargement governance has emerged as a very powerful means of influencing both the immediate policies and the long-term attitudes of third countries. Nevertheless, the practice of using enlargement largely as a foreign policy tool in the case of Turkey and the Western Balkan countries has injected the deficiencies of the EU’s external relations policy into the enlargement process. More importantly, an ‘expectations-capabilities gap’ has emerged in the enlargement process, revealing the gap between the EU’s practice of offering candidate (and ‘potential candidate’) status to several south-eastern European countries, on the one hand, and its readiness to proceed with implementation and assume the implications of such decisions, on the other. The chapter concludes that the Union should attempt to tackle directly the expectations-capabilities gap in its foreign policy, instead of bypassing it through enlargement.
- Western Balkans,
- Stabilization and Association Process,
- EU enlargement,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tzifakis/18/