Conditionality is formally a key determinant of many non-member states’ relations with the EU. It is particularly so for states intent on membership. As the case of Romania shows, the EU’s use of conditionality is far from consistent. Relations can develop and accession take place without the requisite conditions being met. This follows from the use the EU makes of the flexibility evident in its evolving and generally vague definitions of the conditions that need to be met. Hence it was often extraneous factors over which Romania had either limited or no influence that were responsible for key developments in relations. These factors include the geopolitical and strategic interests of the EU and its member states, the actions of the Commission and the agenda-setting and constraining effects of rhetorical commitments and timetables, and the dynamics of the EU’s evolving approach to eastern enlargement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations