The Eastern Enlargement: Ideals, Interests and Integration
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The issue of EU enlargement is intimately linked to the wider process of European integration. Already in 1957, the Treaty of Rome acknowledged and welcomed the possibility of enlarging the Community to which it gave birth,1 indicating that enlargement and deepening of cooperation were from the inception of the European project perceived to go hand in hand. The link between enlargement and the idea of European integration appears especially clearly in respect of the EU’s recent eastern enlargements. Due to their connection with the end of the Cold War, they arguably carry a greater symbolic weight than previous enlargements. On the one hand, EU enlargement to the East is seen to complete the post-Cold War unification of Europe. Simultaneously, Europe’s post-Cold War unity is, however, also regarded as a vindication of the European project which it is perceived to seal. This assimilation between geographic unity and organisational progress roots eastern enlargement particularly firmly within the process of integration as a whole.
KeywordsNational Interest European Council Institutional Reform Candidate State Discursive Strategy
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