International problems Journal Archive
International problems Vol. 74 No. 3/2022
STRATEGIC DEFICIENCIES? FROM THE EU’S REVISED ENLARGEMENT METHODOLOGY TO THE DEVELOPMENT POLICY
International problems, 2022 74(3):335-338
International problems, 2022 74(3):339-365
The nature of the European Union (EU) as a global actor has long been the subject of academic debate. Proponents of understanding the EU as a normative, civilian force agree that its greatest transformative power lies in its enlargement policy, which allows it to shape reforms in countries that wish to become its members through strong conditioning. It is in this context that we will analyse the new methodology of accession negotiations, with the basic premise that it represents a debatable attempt of the EU to preserve its transformative power in relation to candidate countries despite the crisis of the enlargement policy and to further strengthen the already strong mechanisms of conditionality that accompany this process. Two years have passed since the new methodology was adopted, yet there have been no significant changes. Meanwhile, the dramatic change in the geopolitical situation, caused by the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February 2022, has led to a sudden fall of the new Iron Curtain on the continent, creating additional controversies regarding the enlargement policy: Will it apply also to Eastern European countries in the future, and will it become part of a differentiated integration? Also, the question of whether the EU can act strategically towards establishing new relations in Europe is being raised once again.
ENLARGEMENT POLICY AND THE WESTERN BALKANS – THE ROLE OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND THE EU IN THE CONTEXT OF THE NEW ENLARGEMENT METHODOLOGY
International problems, 2022 74(3):367-389
The presented text analyzes the role of the EU and the Czech Republic (CR) in the Western Balkans in the context of enlargement policy, which has been revised through the new methodology. The research is based on a case study covering a defined period of time. The research premise states that the role of the EU and the Czech Republic in the Western Balkans is shaped by internal and external influences, rather than the specific situation and challenges in the Western Balkans region. The argumentation is based on the role theory and verifies the extent to which the Czech Republic acts as a mediator and regional-subsystem collaborator or bridge within the EU to WB. In the future EU should set out clear and concrete changes that candidate states should make; should clearly define benefits that the state will receive after meeting the requirements and identify clear disadvantages or losses that will follow non-compliance. The author finds that both the EU and the Member States should have a stronger and more dynamic role in the accession process of the candidate countries.
International problems, 2022 74(3):391-410
By employing the concept of raison d’état, the article questions the European Union’s role in the so-called Western Balkan region. While the region continues to be covered by the EU’s enlargement policy, we argue that the policy has been in paralysis. We explore whether the heightened geopolitical tensions in Europe have brought the EU to a turning point at which it would use its enlargement policy decisively to pursue its strategic interests in the region. We start with a theoretical discussion of raison d’état and its instrumentalization in the context of the European Union as a non-state actor. Then, we use the conceptual benchmarks of the raison d’état to analyze its empirical implementation through the EU’s relations with Western Balkan countries. We explore the EU’s available enlargement policy tools and the diverging positions within the EU towards enlargement. We pay special attention to the “New enlargement methodology” devised by the Commission in 2019. We argue that despite the Commission’s efforts to promote the EU’s common interest in the region framed in a geopolitical narrative, the diverging national interests still preclude the EU from aggregating its own and pursuing its raison d’état towards the region. The “new methodology” does nothing to overcome this situation. What is more, by insisting on a “stronger political steer” and by further facilitating the reversal of the accession process, the document pushes the Union further away from a common ground regarding the enlargement.
RE-EXAMINATION OF EU NORMATIVE POWER IN LIGHT OF THE REVISED ENLARGEMENT METHODOLOGY TOWARDS THE WESTERN BALKANS
International problems, 2022 74(3):411-432
The aim of this article is to re-examine the concept of “EU normative power” in the revised EU approach to enlargement policy announced in 2020. Drawing on conceptualisation of power in Foreign Policy Analysis the article applies the reading of the EU’s soft and hard power – both as capability and as influence – to EU normative power. The empirical part thus identifies above four elements within the EU’s promotion of its particular norms and within the EU’s strife for international normality via enlargement policy. The results show that the new enlargement methodology does offer change of EU normative power. The EU could more effectively condition the respect of its particular norms by an exemplary domestic practice assuring its own domestic and foreign policy legitimacy and in turn by developing and applying the needed capabilities for achieving attractiveness. Even though a plan of positive conditionality and better-defined conditions in direct negotiations carries such potential, a risk exists that the biggest novelty – the ‘phasing-in’ paradigm – would only explore EU’s norm-related hard market power capabilities by keeping the Western Balkans countries as candidates forever, thus undermining EU’s legitimacy and hard power influence of negative conditionality. To promote international normality, however, the EU needs to activate other elements of soft power influence, namely agenda setting and persuasion.
International problems, 2022 74(3):433-453
The article examines the evolution of the European Union (EU) development policy, from the United Nations Millennium development goals (MDGs) and, first-ever, global attempt to end poverty, to the present day. It first gives an overview of the literature, noting it is heavily focused on the solidarity-instrumentalism dichotomy, then follows with analysis on how have major global crises, notably, climate crisis, Covid-19 pandemic, and Ukraine crisis, affected and shaped the EU development policy and its evolution. Based on that analysis and the literature, the article summarizes several categories of the factors that have influenced the EU development policy and concludes that the research must go beyond the solidarity-instrumentalism dichotomy and develop more encompassing research tools, to be able to grasp increasing complexities of the development policymaking in the contemporary world. A more appropriate analytical frame should focus on the dual role of the EU development policy, which serves as a bridge between foreign and domestic EU policy, and on its integration with other policies, especially climate, health, and peace.