A comparative study of the European Union's enlargement strategy towards Turkey and Bulgaria with respect to the environmental aid

Bilgi, Şeniz
This thesis mainly analyses the change in the enlargement strategy of the European Union (EU) especially in the case of Turkey. Although the Union has always sought ways to enlarge, it has been rather reluctant as far as accepting Turkey as a full member into the EU is concerned. In 2004, the EU enlarged so as to include the Central and East European countries (CEECs), but Romania and Bulgaria were left behind since they did not fulfill the membership criteria at the time. However, these two countries became members on January 1, 2007 and Turkey is still waiting in the line to become a member. Therefore, the writer has chosen Turkey and Bulgaria in order to analyze the change in the enlargement strategy of the Union. The medium to arrive at conclusions as regards the strategy is mainly the environmental aid as the two countries display noticeable differences. Furthermore, the enlargement strategy papers prepared by the European Commission have also been analyzed in order to see the changing attitude of the EU especially by re-introducing the concept of absorption capacity. Even though the Union states it keeps its open door to new members, the new enlargement strategy proves that it will be rather difficult for the candidate states and especially Turkey to enter into the EU.