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European Foreign Policy and the Challenges of Balkan Accession Conditionality, legitimacy and compliance by Gergana Noutcheva

European Foreign Policy and the Challenges of Balkan Accession Conditionality, legitimacy and compliance

Part of the Routledge/UACES Contemporary European Studies Series


European Foreign Policy and the Challenges of Balkan Accession Conditionality, legitimacy and compliance by Gergana Noutcheva

The Balkan countries have responded differently to the EU's conditional offer of membership. This book examines the diverging compliance patterns of the Balkan accession states and asks why some of them have complied substantially, some only partially and others have defied the EU. The book examines the compliance of the Balkan states with the EU accession conditionality, arguing that the variation in the compliance behavior of Balkan governments hinges on three main factors - the legitimacy of the EU conditions as seen domestically in the accession states, the costs of compliance and the EU's ability and willingness to use its superior power resources to impose compliance when faced with domestic defiance. Placing important events from the most recent political history of the Balkans in a broader historical perspective, the author evaluates the successes and failures of the EU's state building policies in the Balkans, a geographical area of the highest priority for the EU's foreign policy and a test case for the EU's capacity and willingness for foreign policy action. Based on detailed empirical data, European Foreign Policy and the Challenges of Balkan Accession will be of interest to scholars and students of EU and comparative politics, and those focusing on policy impact in EU integration.


In this groundbreaking and exemplary study, Noutcheva explains why Western Balkan states have varied so much in their compliance with the European Union's accession requirements: When matters of national sovereignty and territory are on the table, the EU lacks the legitimacy to impose a solution. Theoretically innovative and empirically rich, this book offers a comprehensive study of the EU's foreign and enlargement policies in the Western Balkans -- and helps us understand the limits of the EU's so-called normative power. - Milada Anna Vachudova, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

About the Author

Gergana Noutcheva is Assistant Professor in International Relations and European Foreign Policy in the Department of Political Science at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2014


Gergana Noutcheva

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Routledge an imprint of Taylor & Francis Ltd


264 pages


International relations



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