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Leverage and limitations of the EU’s influence in the eastern neighbourhood : a study of compliance with the EU’s justice and home affairs' standards in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

Bennett, Hanna (2012) Leverage and limitations of the EU’s influence in the eastern neighbourhood : a study of compliance with the EU’s justice and home affairs' standards in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

When the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was launched in 2004 expectations of its potential were low because it lacks the ability to offer EU membership as an incentive, which was found to be pivotal for the EU to have influence in the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). Nevertheless, progress reports have demonstrated that some convergence toward the EU standards has taken place in the neighbouring countries. This research seeks to understand under which conditions compliance takes place, what explains the variation in (non)compliance with the EU standards in the area of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) and what influence does the EU have. It examines formal and behavioural compliance with the EU action plan recommendations in the area of border guard reform, readmission agreement, asylum and refugee protection, and criminalisation of human trafficking in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The three states have all expressed interest in EU membership, but they vary in their potential to be considered as candidates and in their identification with the EU. Rather than assuming that the EU’s influence is low in the neighbourhood because it cannot offer a certain membership incentive, this research studies the problem by focusing on a combination of explanatory factors drawn from rational choice and sociological/constructivist institutionalism both at the macro level (strength of membership prospect and identification with the EU) and at the issue-specific levels. The research demonstrates that the EU’s influence is differential and dependent on domestic, external and issue-specific conditions. The results indicate that the EU is capable of eliciting influence in the JHA area without a certain EU membership prospect. However, when the country perceives that there is a possibility to accede to the EU, compliance with the EU standards has been more even across the four issue areas and at the formal and behavioural levels.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Hanna Bennett
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Sedelmeier, Ulrich
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/508

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