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Between Europe and the Balkans: Former-Yugoslavian states and the elusive EU-membership
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

When many states from the Europe’s Eastern bloc pursued integration with the EU following the fall of communism, there is a striking variation in EU membership between the states of the former Yugoslavia. Almost thirty years after the violent breakup of the federation in the 1990s, only two of the six independent states are EU members. How can we understand this puzzling variation? While many states from the Eastern bloc joined the EU in 2004, why was only Slovenia admitted out of SFRY this year and not Serbia or Bosnia-Herzegovina? As conditionality for accession is the same regardless of aplicant country, this variation must be a result of factors at domestic level. The comparative focus here is on the political elites as the intervening variable. Using theories of EU enlargement, it is shown that while Slovenia recognized the benefits of an EU membership early on, Croatia had an ambivalent attitude. Human rights abuses and failure to cooperate with the international community proved to effectively veto its application. Serbia had in Milosevic a strongly illiberal, nationalist regime not willing to undergo reform. The violent strike-down on Kosovo Albanians and the failure to extradite war criminals left the country isolated in the eyes of the world. Bosnia-Herzegovina has an ad-hoc political constitution as a result of the Dayton agreement making it difficult for policies to be implemented despite the political will – meaning the elusive EU membership is currently but a distant chimera.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 66
Keywords [en]
European Union, enlargement, conditionality, political elite, External Incentives Model
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-346159OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-346159DiVA, id: diva2:1190557
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Master Programme in Political Science
Presentation
2018-03-08, Gyllenhielmska biblioteket, Uppsala, 19:55 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-03-19 Created: 2018-03-14 Last updated: 2018-03-19Bibliographically approved

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