European Enlargement and Institutional Hypocrisy

Elena A. Elena and Peter J. Katzenstein

in The State of the European Union, 6

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257409
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600951 | DOI:
 European Enlargement and Institutional Hypocrisy

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Provides an account of the status of the enlargement process in the EU, both in the candidate countries and in terms of institutional changes at the EU level. In particular, it argues that European enlargement is a combination of ‘institutional and political hypocrisy’. While political hypocrisy is the result of the purposeful strategy of specific actors that wilfully disobey EU law, institutional hypocrisy results from involuntary non‐compliance due to the lack of capacity or clarity; both have been a systemic feature of legal integration and a major driving force of the European constitutionalization process. However, as the heterogeneity of the EU member states increases, enlargement may well lead to a substantial erosion of the legal and policy coherence of the EU. The first section of the chapter discusses the problem of non‐compliance, the second characterizes the European polity as resulting from the enmeshment of the process of Europe's legal integration with different national legal systems, the third and fourth sections discuss the southern and eastern enlargements of the EU, and the fifth section concludes by pointing to differences in national legal traditions that make institutional and political hypocrisy a systemic outcome of the process of European enlargement.

Keywords: compliance; constitutionalization; enlargement; EU law; EU policy; European integration; EU; institutional change; institutional hypocrisy; legal integration; national legal traditions; non‐compliance; political hypocrisy

Chapter.  9703 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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