The Promise of Europe: Moldova and the Process of Europeanization
At first glance, the European Union (EU) seems to have established a rigorous system of inclusion and exclusion defined by full membership status and fortified external borders (captured by the image of a Fortress Europe). Yet considering its strategic interests with respect to the new neighbors to its east and south, the EU has recently developed a more differentiated set of policies designed to build partnerships and associational agreements. After the collapse of Communism, the EU’s pledge of membership for the states in Central and Eastern European (CEE) has motivated them to embark on the road of political and democratic reforms in order to meet the restrictive Copenhagen criteria.1 The close association with and potential membership in the EU represented the most stimulating incentive to this group of states putting in place painful economic and political reforms. The process of “Eastern enlargement” is on its way to completion now that Bulgaria and Romania have joined the EU.2 Yet as the Treaty of the European Union provides,3 every country that is part of the European continent can apply for membership. This entitles other states to envision their participation in the EU.
KeywordsEuropean Union Foreign Affair European Union Member State Communist Country Domestic Politics
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