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Have we reached the limits of the EU enlargement?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The previous enlargements and the end of the Cold War.
    1. France and Germany's position in the EC.
    2. The EFTA enlargement.
    3. The German reunification and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    4. The 2004 enlargement and enlarging eastwards.
    5. The increase in the EU memberships.
  3. The limits of enlargement: Interpretation of this concept.
    1. Common agreement on Europe's boundaries.
    2. Domination of Chirsianity in Europe.
    3. The geo-political interests.
  4. Limitation of the enlargement.
    1. There is no shortage of applicants.
    2. Influence of the EU.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

In the light of the massive 2004 European Union (EU) enlargement and the current one of Bulgaria and Romania, the question of whether the EU is reaching the limits of its enlargement shows all its relevance. In fact, since the moment the European integration process was launched, it has welcomed 21 new members in five different waves. The 2004 enlargement eastwards challenged significantly the nature of the enlargement process, by re-balancing the backbone of the European Community (EC) ? the Franco-German axis ? toward a stronger German position. The official recognition of Turkey as a candidate to the accession at the European Council of Helsinki in 1999 also set the nature of the enlargement at the top the EU agenda, as well as reviving the debate about the European identity. The EU enlargement process is ongoing, in time and space. Does a limit exist to the EU enlargement? How many countries will the EU be capable of ?absorbing?? On which accurate criterion can an applicant to membership (or candidacy) be rejected? Should the EU be deepened before being widened?All these questions are quite debated today.

[...] Gower, Jackie EU and Russia: the Challenge of Integration without Accession,' in Gower, Jackie, and Redmond, John, eds., Enlarging the European Union: The Way Forward, 163-76. Burlington and Hants: Ashgate. Grazulius, Arunas ?European Neighbourhood Policy: Enlargement Prevention or Preparation for the Next in Snyder, Francis, ed., Enlargement and the new Europe after 2004, 299-329. Bruxelles: Bruylant. Inotai, Andras European Union Facing the Eastern Enlargement: Differences to Earlier Enlargements and Challenges for the Future Europe,? in Duchenne, Geneviève and Dumoulin Michel, eds., Towards an enlarged Europe, Proceedings of the Glaverbel Chair in European Studies. [...]

[...] As the Cold War challenged the European identity, I will show how ambiguous this notion is. II. The limits of enlargement: Interpretation of this concept The area of the EU enlargement is limited both with the frontiers of Europe and the nature of the country's political regime: Art of the Rome Treaty and Art of the Amsterdam Treaty say that European state which respects the principles set out in Art may apply to become a member of the Union? (Arunas Grazulius 2005, 301). Two questions can be asked. First, are the European boundaries geographical? [...]

[...] Schimmelfennig, Frank, and Sedelmeier, Ulrich Politics of EU Enlargement: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives,? in Schimmelfennig, Frank, and Sedelmeier, Ulrich, eds., The Politics of the European Union Enlargement: Theoretical Approaches, 3-30. London and New York: Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group). Simon, Bulmer and Requesne Christian The Member States of the European Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Skalnes, Lars S ?Geopolitics and the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union,? in Schimmelfennig, Frank, and Sedelmeier, Ulrich, eds., The Politics of the European Union Enlargement: Theoretical Approaches, 213- 33. [...]

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