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The European neighbourhood policy: an assertive initiative with unsufficient means by the European Union

Şimşek, Duran
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the European Union has focused its attention on moving the Central and Eastern European Countries towards democracy and the market economy, which culminated in the accession of these countries to the European Union on May 2004. With the accession of the ten new members to the Union, the European Union has acquired new neighbors and come closer to the old ones, with whom it had only indirectly interested in. There is a conviction in EU circles that future widening towards these countries is not possible without risking the integration process which the European countries have developed in the last fifty years. In addition to this internal consideration, the new neighbors of the EU, some of which have already declared their membership ambitions, are the countries which the EU perceives it cannot integrate in the foreseeable future because of their social, economic and political underdevelopment. In response to these realities, the Union developed the European Neighborhood Policy. In this thesis, potential of the new neighborhood policy to fulfill its objectives of being second best alternative to membership and its promise in providing a meaningful framework that is satisfactory both for the EU and its neighbors will be analyzed. Additionally, its impact on the European Union’s foreign policy in general will be elaborated. It will be argued in this thesis that the ENP has such serious limitations in terms of its formulation, institutions, and its incentives that it will fail to realize its original aspirations.