Democratizations in the European Periphery

Sonia Alonso and José María Maravall

in Governing Europe

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780199250158
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599439 | DOI:
 Democratizations in the European Periphery

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The 1962 Birkelbach report of the European Parliament declared that only those states that guaranteed truly democratic practices and respect for human rights and fundamental liberties would be admitted into the Community. This political requirement was addressed to the South European dictatorships, and had an important influence on political events in these countries, to which the European Community represented, thus, a form of political conditionality; this ‘conditioning’ required monitoring. The European Union 1993 summit in Copenhagen opened the door to membership to the new regimes in the East if political and economic conditions, later ratified by the Amsterdam Treaty in 1997, were fulfilled: the political conditions referred to democracy, the respect of minorities and the rule of law; the economic ones, to a market economy, an independent financial sector and macroeconomic stability. The Commission submitted regular reports on the fulfilment by each candidate country of such conditions. The monitoring, however, described states of affairs while not explaining their causes. This chapter examines these two periods of regime change in Southern and Central Eastern Europe, reviewing (with empirical evidence), arguments about economic development, regimes and political institutions; the purpose is to understand better the political and economic transformations that went on in what was the southern and eastern periphery of Europe.

Keywords: candidate countries; Central Eastern Europe; democratization; economic conditions; economic development; European Community; European Union; membership; political conditions; political institutions; regime change; regimes; Southern Europe

Chapter.  13645 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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