The Active Leverage of the European Union

Milada Anna Vachudova

in Europe Undivided

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780199241194
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602382 | DOI:
 The Active Leverage of the European Union

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This chapter presents a theoretical framework for the EU’s active leverage, defined as the EU’s deliberate efforts to promote reform in candidate states moving towards EU membership. Active leverage is animated by the fact that the benefits of membership create incentives for states to satisfy the entry requirements, setting the stage for the effectiveness of conditionality within the EU’s pre-accession process. Three characteristics of this process make it particularly powerful: asymmetric interdependence, enforcement, and meritocracy. This chapter explores the origins of the EU’s pre-accession process, unpacks the requirements of membership, and details all of the different tools that enable the EU to exercise conditionality within the process. It compares the EU’s active leverage to the efforts of NATO, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to promote democratic standards and economic reform in Eastern Europe's new democracies.

Keywords: acquis communautaire; active leverage; Agenda 2000; asymmetric interdependence; conditionality; Copenhagen criteria; Council of Europe; European Commission; meritocracy; NATO; OSCE; pre-accession process

Chapter.  15224 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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