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Those Who Knock on Europe's Door Must Repent? Bilateral Border Disputes and EU Enlargement

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  • Andrew Geddes and Andrew Taylor
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    This paper explores a neglected aspect of the wider debate about EU enlargement; namely bilateral disputes between a Member State and an applicant, where the former uses, or threatens to use, its membership to block membership to resolve a dispute. As we show through analysis of three cases - Italy and Slovenia, Slovenia and Croatia, and Greece and Macedonia - the EU's transformative power does not always flow 'outwards' towards the state seeking membership. This raises interesting questions about enlargement asinternational bargaining between sovereign states filtered via a supranational entity formally responsible for the negotiations. Our cases suggest limits to the EU's transformative power in the context of disputes that are linked to the meaning and significance of borders. When enlargement intersects with identity politics, the result can be potentially destabilizing in ways that can lead to a decline in the EU's legitimacy. It is not surprising that the Commission prefers disputes to be resolved bilaterally or via a third-party. The author Andrew Geddes is Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield. He has written extensively on aspects of British, European and EU politics, with a particularfocus on the politics of migration. Recent publications include Migration and Mobility in the EU (with Christina Boswell) and The EU and South East Europe: The Dynamics of Multi-Level Governance and Europeanisation (with AndrewTaylor and Charles Lees). He was a Visiting Fellow at the Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe" in June/July 2012. From February 2013,he will be lead investigator for a 5-year European Research Council 'advanced'project on international migration governance. Contact: Taylor is Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield. He was principal investigator on the ESRC funded project on the development of multi-level governance in South East Europe. In recent years his work has focused on the Europeanization of the Western Balkans and the nature of state effectiveness; his most recent bookis State Failure (Palgrave Macmillan) and he is beginning a research project on the EU's role in state-building in Western Balkans. He is also working on the politics of bordering in the United Kingdom. Contact:

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    Paper provided by Free University Berlin in its series KFG Working Papers with number p0054.

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    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2013
    Handle: RePEc:erp:kfgxxx:p0054
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    1. Ruggie, John Gerard, 1993. "Territoriality and beyond: problematizing modernity in international relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 139-174, December.
    2. Vachudova, Milada Anna, 2005. "Europe Undivided: Democracy, Leverage, and Integration After Communism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199241194.
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