The European Union ( Eu )

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The European Union (EU) has a variety of methods to promote democracy beyond its borders. It is the contention of this paper that EU democracy-promotion policies are more significant in the context of a pre-accession conditionality. The success of EU democracy promotion is contingent upon the degree of bargaining power the EU possesses vis-à-vis ‘third countries’ (third countries being those which seek EU membership, and are prepared to make the necessary political and economic reforms). In the context of pre-accession conditionality the EU possesses significant bargaining power, making adhesion to the norms of the Copenhagen criteria (political and economic conditions necessary for EU accession) the only viable option for states seeking…show more content…
Some scholars contend that the EU is shifting from conditionality to a ‘governance-mode’ of democracy promotion in which institutional cooperation between third countries and the EU facilitates the transfer of democratic norms. Peter Kotzian et al. (2011) identify three mechanisms the EU uses for democracy promotion: ‘bottom-up’ methods facilitated through the European Instrument for Democracy & Human-Rights (e.g. funding civil-society organisations), agreements containing Human Rights clauses and the use of sanctions on third countries (pp.1003-1004). However, there is significant variation in the success of these mechanisms. In the case of EU Eastern-Enlargement (EUEE) the EU used a mechanism of pre-accession conditionality. Conditionality implies a bargaining process in which the EU uses selective incentives in order to change the behaviour of political elites in a third country. These targeted political elites are assumed to have weighted the benefits they derive from democratic reform against the costs and comply with the EU’s Copenhagen criteria (economic and political reform; e.g. adhesion with the rules and obligations of acquis) if the benefits exceed the costs (Ethier, 2003, p.102). This ‘top-down’
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