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Open-Ended Membership Prospect and Commitment Credibility: Explaining the Deadlock in EU-Turkey Accession Negotiations

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  • MEHMET UGUR

Abstract

After the enlargement of 2004, the European Union (EU) has introduced an open-ended framework for accession negotiations. Although the ultimate aim is still to ensure the integration of candidate countries, the timing and modality of membership is not guaranteed in advance. This article utilizes a political economy model to demonstrate that open-ended accession negotiations would lead to suboptimal outcomes in the form of inadequate convergence reforms undertaken in the candidate country and poor membership prospect offered by the EU. This analytical finding is compatible with and can be useful in understanding the dynamics of deteriorating reform output in Turkey and weakening EU commitment to Turkish membership since the start of the open-ended accession negotiations process in 2005. Two necessary conditions must be satisfied to overcome such adverse outcomes in the enlargement process: (i) the EU and the accession country must renew their commitments to reform and integration through a new political bargain; and (ii) they should follow this bargain with periodic summits for co-ordinating their commitments in the face of shocks to, or emerging deadlocks in, the process of open-ended accession negotiations. Copyright (c) 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation (c) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Mehmet Ugur, 2010. "Open-Ended Membership Prospect and Commitment Credibility: Explaining the Deadlock in EU-Turkey Accession Negotiations," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 967-991, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:48:y:2010:i::p:967-991
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    1. Haverland, Markus, 2000. "National Adaptation to European Integration: The Importance of Institutional Veto Points," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 83-103, April.
    2. Arjan Lejour & Ruud de Mooij & Clem Capel, 2004. "Assessing the economic implications of Turkish accession to the EU," CPB Document 56, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    3. Frank Schimmelfennig & Stefan Engert & Heiko Knobel, 2003. "Costs, Commitment and Compliance: The Impact of EU Democratic Conditionality on Latvia, Slovakia and Turkey," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 495-518, June.
    4. Harry G. Johnson, 1953. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 142-153.
    5. Antonis Adam & Thomas Moutos, 2008. "The Trade Effects of the EU-Turkey Customs Union," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 685-700, May.
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    1. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:419-431 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bürgin, Alexander, 2013. "Salience, path dependency and the coalition between the European Commission and the Danish Council Presidency: Why the EU opened a visa liberalisation process with Turkey," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 17, August.

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