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The political economy of EU enlargement and the Treaty of Nice


  • Heinemann, Friedrich


The paper applies standard public choice reasoning to the negotiations on EU enlargement and the Treaty of Nice. The starting point is the assumption that accession can only be successfully completed if the interests of decisive actors in present EU countries are respected. Decisive actors in the West are the members of the European Parliament, individuals in national governments and in the Commission. Personal costs and benefits of these individuals are analysed with respect to enlargement. Furthermore, the basic strategic issues of the negotiations are depicted that arise from the different pre-entry and post-entry position of new members. The Intergovernmental Conference is reinterpreted as an opportunity of EU-15 actors to protect their personal interests in an enlarged Community. The relative attractiveness of the 13 official candidate countries is assessed on the basis of some indicators that emerge as important from the political-economic approach. The paper concludes by giving some cautious forecasts about likely outcomes of both the Treaty of Nice and the accession bargaining.
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Suggested Citation

  • Heinemann, Friedrich, 2003. "The political economy of EU enlargement and the Treaty of Nice," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 17-31, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:19:y:2003:i:1:p:17-31

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Ricahrd E. Baldwin & Joseph F. Francois & Richard Portes, 1997. "The costs and benefits of eastern enlargement: the impact on the EU and central Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 12(24), pages 125-176, April.
    3. Vaubel, Roland, 1994. "The Political Economy of Centralization and the European Community," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(1-2), pages 151-190, October.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:48:y:1954:i:03:p:787-792_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Sachs, 2013. "Governance Structures in Europe," WWWforEurope Deliverables series 2, WWWforEurope.
    2. Zaporozhets, Vera & García-Valiñas, María & Kurz, Sascha, 2016. "Key drivers of EU budget allocation: Does power matter?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 57-70.
    3. Martin Bodenstein & Heinrich Ursprung, 2005. "Political yardstick competition, economic integration, and constitutional choice in a federation:," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 329-352, September.
    4. Michael Bolle & José Caétano & Jaakko Kiander & Vladimir Lavrac & Renzo Orsi & Tiiu Paas & Katarzyna Zukrowska, 2002. "The Eastward Enlargement of the Eurozone - State of the Art Report," Eastward Enlargement of the Euro-zone Working Papers wp02, Free University Berlin, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, revised 01 Jan 2002.
    5. H.J. Roelfsema, 2004. "Legislative Bargaining and Lobbying in the European Union," Working Papers 04-16, Utrecht School of Economics.
    6. Vera Zaporozhets & Mar'ia Garc'ia-Vali~nas & Sascha Kurz, 2015. "Key drivers of EU budget allocation: Does power matter?," Papers 1512.01267,
    7. Bas van Aarle, 2013. "Surveillance and Control of Fiscal Consolidation on a Supranational Level," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 46, WWWforEurope.
    8. Borkowski, Agnieszka, 2003. "Machtverteilung im Ministerrat: nach dem Vertrag von Nizza und den Konventsvorschlägen in einer erweiterten Europäischen Union," IAMO Discussion Papers 54, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism


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