A quote of The Secret of the West (1997 edition) by Volodymyr Poselskyy in a paper on the geographical limits of Europe and the enlargement of the European Union, published on 13 July 2004 in Eurojournal, a Moldovan online journal (shortcut to page 4).
(Volodymyr Poselskyy, “The Frontiers of Europe and the Wider Europe Strategy” in Eurojournal, 13Jul2004, Moldova).
Safety copy Sep 06. Source (pdf).

The Secret of the West

1 The Frontiers of Europe and the Wider Europe Strategy Volodymyr POSELSKYY

Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
The Frontiers of Europe and the Wider Europe Strategy
Ph. D. candidate at CERI, Sciences Po, Paris
“The delimitation of Europe requires studying
geography, taking into account history and adopting a
political decision”
Hubert Védrine, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs
(on the eve of the European Council Meeting in
Helsinki, December 1999)
The Berlin Wall collapse posed a complicated dilemma for the European Economic Community
of the time. Based on the institutionally fixed principle of the openness of the European
, the EEC and, later, the European Union of 15 members were a priori to have rapidly
enlarged in the course of time admitting all new European democracies in the East of the
continent, which desired to join the Union and were capable of adopting the acquis
. At the same time, such an enlargement unique by its scale would have
influenced significantly both the European integrational project in general and the interest of
particular member states, due to the fact that it would introduce considerable alterations to the
existing balance of power within the frames of the Community, require profound institutional
reforming and further narrowing the right to veto granted to every state, adjusting common
policies and redistributing the budgets in favour of new members. In that case, the process of
europeanisation of the former “socialist camp” would not necessarily have led to the full
institutional admission of the Central and East European countries (CEECs) to the EU. It would
probably have limited itself to a close assosiation within the frames of the established European
Economic Area. Staging such a scenario would have allowed the EU countries to enjoy the
advantages provided by the trade liberalization and the investment possibilities in the CEECs
avoiding painful institutional and budget adjustments which could have resulted from the
enlargement itself. In other words, the European Union could have felt satisfied with the
democratic and economic stabilization of its Eastern periphery through expanding a considerable
part of acquis communautaire on it without jeopardizing either the efficacy and internal integrity
of the European integration process or evident budget and political benefits for particular member
A bit later it became obvious that the European community had chosen the way of integral
settling the issues of enlargement, which presupposed, on the one hand, some preliminary
internal adaptation and accommodation of its present member-states’ interests, and on the other
hand, a step-by-step admission of the CEECs required by sticking to the determined criteria and
longlasting transition periods.
At present the first stage of “the third unification of the continent” (Pomian, 1990) is heading to
its logical completion. May 1 2004 will be the date when the EU-15 will welcome 8 post-
communist states of Central Europe and the Baltic region the reformatory governments of which
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
have been following the course of consistent political and economic reforms and accession to the
Eropean Union since the initial point (with some cution concerning Slovakia, Lithuania and
Latvia). The enlarged Union of 25 members (including Cyprus and Malta) is planning to adopt
the first Constitutional Treaty which will crown the formation period for the European Union as a
qualitatively new institutional and political model of the integration process. It is obvious that the
EU prospective enlargement to the East has become not only the incentive for internal
resructuring in the CEECs, but also the efficient tool for restructuring the European Community
The consistent geopolitical transformation of the Old continent is not reduced to the EU’s
absorbing its closest Eastern and North Eastern periphery. The outsiders of the present
enlargement process Bolgaria and Romania are to join the EU in 2007. The rest of the Balkan
countries will be granted the possibility to join the European Union within the Stabilization and
Association process initiated in 1999. Croatia being the most successful of them can become the
EU member-state until 2010. If not take into consideration the vague future prospects of Turkey,
the final EU territorial configuration will depend on the probable membership of seven European
CIS states (Moldavia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Russian Federation, Georgia, Arminia and
Azerbaijan), which meet the basic geographical criterion.
Where is the final point of the European Union’s enlargement to the East? Is it possible to
determine this boundary? Wishing to find the answers to these questions in 1992 the European
Commission came to the conclusion that the “term “European” embraced geohistorical and
cultural components which both facilitate the determination of the European identity. Common
experience of bordering on each other, sharing ideas, values and historically based cooperation is
not reduced to a simple formulation, thus, it can be re-evaluated by other generations... This is the
reason why it is neither possible nor advisable to determine the boundaries of the European
Union which will find themselves in the course of time”
. Showing no desire to take the final
decision the European Commission put forward the Wider Europe strategy in March 2003. This
policy covers new Eastern neighbour states of the enlarged Union (Belarus, Moldavia and
Ukraine), the Russian Federation as well as the South Mediterranian countries. Brussels finds it
workable to turn the existing “instability curve” on the EU Southern and Eastern borders into a
“ring of friends” through gradual applying the tools of close association with every neighbour
state in accordance with its meeting the determined criteria of rapprochement. Thus, the
delimitation between the Wider Union and Wider Europe will coincide with the borderline of the
transient Commonwealth of Independent States turning Ukraine, Moldavia and Belarus into
common “close neighbourhood” of Russia and the European Union.
The author of this article suggests viewing the nowadays advancement of the European West to
the East of the continent through the prism of the gradual shift of its civilizational (geohistorical),
geopolitical, geoeconomic, institutional and political frontiers. We believe that the process of
“coming back to Europe” for the former hostages of the “socialist camp” includes four
fundamental components: basic stabilization and europeanisation, economic association and,
eventually, institutional accession to the EU. The European Union enlargement itself goes
through a number of particular stages conditioned by the procedural rules in force, the degree of
readiness of the applicant states along with the requirements for the “deepening” of the
integration process and the accommodation of interests of the Member States.
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
This paper is structured as follows. The first section reminds the geohistorical divisions of
Europe. The second one analyzes the bases and stages of the current unification of the Continent.
The third examines the ongoing sucessful integration of Central European countries to the
European Community and the following surge of the EU enlargment to the Balkans (creation of
One Europe). The fourth examines a new proximity policy of the EU towards its neighbours
(creation of the Wider Europe). Finally, we will make an attempt to model the progressive
integration into the EU of Ukraine as the biggest and the most important element of the zone of
geopolitical uncertainty which still exists between the EU and Russia.
Geohistorical divisions of the Old Continent
Our history is the most substantial element of self-determination within the system of national,
religious and civilizational coordinates. The thesis on historical affiliation with Europe has
become an inalienable feature of the EU orientation of the East European postcommunist leaders
(from Croatia to Ukraine)
. At the same time, a number of West European politicians repudiated
the requests of Turkey or East European CIS states to join the EU, the repudiation being based,
along with other factors, on the conviction that these countries do not historically belong to the
European civilization as they are parts of Islamic world (Turkey) or the Russian area (Ukraine,
Moldavia and Transcaucasian countries)
From the point of view of geohistorical development
Europe is usually specified as a certain
civilizational unity and is often identified with West European or simply Western (Euroatlantic)
civilization. Civilizational boundaries of Europe are determined differently depending on the
criteria, epoch or the national identity of the author. Numerous West European investigators of
the “cold war” period considered fixed borders of the Western bloc as a historically grounded
boundary for the European civilization. That was the boundary shaping the Carolingian Empire in
the East in 800 A.D. and, later, limiting the area of integral formation of liberal ideology, national
states, democracies and capitalism (Delmas, 1980, Мendras, 1997). Meanwhile, Central
European scholars emphasised indissoluble cultural and spiritual unity Mitteleuropa (as the
bearer of Catholicism and the former constituent, element of the Austria Hungarian Empire) with
the European West (Kundera, 1983). Such an emphasis on cultural and religious commonness
makes the ecclesiastical schism of 1054 shape the Eastern border of European civilization. That
schism separated Catholic Europe from orthodox Bizantium and Kyiv Rus and then turned into
the front line with the Golden Horde and the Ottoman Empire. According to another prevailing
point of view the Eastern boundary of Europe goes along the Western border of the Russain
geopolitical area which is considered a separate civilization (Halecki, 1952, Douguine, 2002).
On the whole there is a need to specify two probable approaches to the geohistorical
configuration of the European continent. One group of researches draws Europe as a single
European civilization which consists of the West European core and several layers of belonging
to Europe as far as the East. In particular, French geographer Jacques Lévy distinguishes three
gradual expansions of the European West to its Eastern periphery (Lévy, 1997). The first
absorbed the Central European territories which were not destroyed by the Mongols and were
under the rule of the Ottoman or Russian Empires for only a short time. The second expansion
covered the Balkans and the East of the continent which had long been under the rule of Turkey
or Russia. In its third expansion the European dominant extends to the centres of the Ottoman and
Russian Empires and the territories which had long been under the Mongols’ rule, with the
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
boudary between the first and the second zones overlapping the schism between the Cathilics and
Orthodox believers.
At the same time other researches separate several civilizations. In his fundumental volume
“Grammaire de civilisations” Fernand Braudel distinguishes three such civilizations: “Europe”
(Western and Central Europe); “America” (Latin America, the United States, Canada, Australia,
New Zeland) та “the Other Europe” (the Russian Empire – the USSR) (Braudel, 1963).
According to Hungarian historian Jeno Szücs the European goehistorical space is composed of
“three Europes” – Western, Cenral-Eastern and Eastern (the Russian space) (Szücs, 1985). Greek
researcher Dimitri Kitsikis suggests splitting the whole Euroasian continent onto three great
civilizational zones: 1) the West or Western Europe embracing some territories in the East, which
belonged to the Austrian-Hungarian and German Empires; 2) the East covering India, South-
Eastern Asia and China; 3) the intermediate region including the territories, which used to be
parts of the Byzantium and Ottoman Empires as well as the territories under Russian rule
(Kitsikis, 1985).
If, advocating F. Braudel’s ideas, we determine a civilization as a geohistorical space, which is
characterized by the whole range of sustainable social, political and economic features together
with a certain collective mentality
, then it seems the most appropriate to separate geohistorical
Europe into four civilizational zones: two “integral” civilizations, which can be arbitrary called
the European West and the Euroasian East, a “split” civilization of the Southern East or the
“Orient of Europe” (Prévélakis in Barnavi, Goossens, 2001) and, finally, the particular
civilizational area of Central Europe.
Indeed, geohistorical Europe emerged on the grounds of three great territorial formations. First of
all, “Europa Occidens” (Carolingian and Roman Western Europe) protected from nomads’ forays
since the Xth century, did “discover” Europe with its humanistic and rational attitude towards the
world. The variety of centres of power and initiative (external balance of European powers,
separation of clerical and secular authorities, autonomous rule in cities and gradual formation of
civil society) launched a historical and cultural ”whirlwind” of the West European civilization
(Morin, 1987). Avoiding a deep analysis of distinctive features of the European West (which was
the subject of research for several generations of the Europeans) it is worth paying attention to
the internal structure of this civilizational space, namely: the existence of a dynamic West
European core, which enjoyed the advantages of the four stage formula (consolidation of national
states, liberal ideology, capitalism and democracy) and favourable geographical position
(Cosandey, 1997); its Northern (Denmark, Scandinavian countries, Iceland) and Southern (Spain,
Portugal, Southern Italy) peripheries. While Northern periphery countries (Great Britain included
in this respect) differed from the West European core states only in less distinctive European self-
identification, Southern periphery countries demonstrated more and more noticeable lagging
behind in their social, economic, political and ideological modernization. Considering all this,
The South of Europe is approximating the Central European region geohistorical development.
Civilizational closeness of the Central European countries to the West European geohistorical
space results from numerous factors: their involvement into cultural and spiritual achievements of
the European West (spreading of Catholicism, considerable impact of Renaissance, Reformation
and Enlightenment epochs); the initial similarity of political, social and economic structures (the
formation of sovereign states, the existence of feudal vassality institutions, the Magdeburg Law,
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
the culture of legal and contract relations); the long-lasting subordination in Austria Hungarian
and German Empires. However, starting with the ХVI century, the Central European region
selected a civilizational pattern different from the Western Europe. The pattern revealed itself in
prolonged loss of statehood (under the combined pressure of Austria and Hungarian, German,
Ottoman and Russian Empires), in significant delay in carrying out agrarian and industrial
revolutions (due to introducing a second serfdom in ХVI century, in particular), in confined
democratic reforms (excluding Czechia in respect of the last two factors). According to French
researcher Jacques Rupnik, Central Europe belonged to the European West referring to culture
and civilizational self-identification, from the point of view of its social and economic
development the region shared most of the features of the retrograde and state-controlled model
of the Euroasian East. In political dimension the Central European “semiauthoritaritarism” took
an intermediate position between Russian despotism and Western democracy (Rupnik, 1993).
Another great geohistoric space covered the Balkan penincular and Anatolia, which joined
Byzantium and Ottoman Empires in succession
. In this respect it is more appropriate to
determine a “split” and mixed civilization of the “Orient of Europe” as a specific civilizational
crossroads for the West and East, founded on the cooperation and competition of Greek, Turkish,
South Slavonic, Russian and Austrian elements, the fight between Orthodox believers,
Catholicism and Islam. The Balkan region (excluding Greece) was characterised by a more
significant, in comparison with Central Europe, lagging behind in national, state, democratic,
social and economic development intensified by the complicated ethnic interfusion of the
population and the established periphery position. World Wars I and II resulted in the split of the
“Orient of Europe” into three separate parts: secular Turkish Republic (an important element of
the post-war Western bloc); Greece, which joined the EEC in 1981; the West Balkan countries,
which experienced various patterns of post-war socialist construction.
In the long run, the Mongol invasion in the middle of the ХІІІ century interrupted the
development of the original form of the European identity in the North-Eastern part of the
Christendom, i.e. in Kyiv Rus. Instead of shaping a civilization of the European East, the region
produced a new attempt – the Moscow Princedom, which framed a particular civilizational space
that could be called a Euroasian East. As was the case with the area under Ottoman rule, the
Russain Empire spread beyond the geographical borders of Europe reaching the Pacific Ocean
front in the East and the Pamirs mountains in the South. On the whole the European civilization
acquired the shape of a pure centralised imperial space consisting of the nucleus and four
periphery zones: the neighbouring Western periphery (the Baltic countries, Eastern and Central
Ukraine and Belarus) with the extention to Finland and Central Europe (the distant Western
periphery); the Southern periphery (the Transcaucasia, Central Asia); the North-Eastern periphery
(Siberia, the Far East). Due to its internal civilizational evolution first autocratic and later Soviet
Russia counterbalanced the European West relying on the tight authoritative model of
development and the subordination of all spheres of social life to the state rule
The proposed concept of “four Europes” shifts the point from seeking the answer to the
question “Where does Europe end?” to considering protracted internal schisms of
the European geohistorical space. The concept also explains the existence of stable periphery
zones in the middle of the continent. The matter is that the delimitation lines between the
abovementioned civilizational areas did not reduce to borderlines or boundaries but were not
fixed and in the course of time turned into borderlands or frontiers. Jacques Lévy remarks in this
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
respect that the European space includes some “weak points which seem to be doomed to a
position of a minority or a victim as well as the respective societies seem unfit for the role of
masters of their own fate” (Lévy, 1997). Given three basic characteristics of the boundary-
territories (lack of statehood tradition, the status of the “buffer” between various goehistorical
spaces and, in consequence, indetermined or inconsistent civilizational self-identification of
populations) one can identify two “model” internal peripheries of geohistorical Europe, namely:
contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina in the South and Ukraine together with Belarus in the
10 15
. From the Roman Empire’s split into Western and Eastern parts till collapses of Austria
and Hungary and Ottoman Empires Bosnia was deemed backward and weak periphery which
manifested itself in religious schism deviding the population into Orthodox believers, Catholics
and Muslims as well as in hopeless incapability to build up its own state structure. In its own turn
the historical evolution of the South-Western part of the Kyiv state following the Mongol
invasion brought about the separation of three different geohistorical regions: Western Ukraine as
the steady Eastern periphery of Central Europe (above all Greek-Catholic Halychyna, which fell
under Russian rule only in 1939); the Central region comprising ethnic Ukrainian lands on the
right and left banks of the Dnipro River and subsequently belonging to Rzech Pospolita and
Russia; Southern and Eastern Ukraine (steady South-Western periphery of the Euroasian space)
which have become ethnically mingled since settling in ХVII – XVIII centuries and then
russianized with time.
Seeing the dimensions and the further geopolitical uncertainty of the young Ukrainian state, the
Ukrainian issue requires particular attention. At the moment Ukrainian political stage is occupied
by the advocates of profound democratic reforms and Ukraine’s consistent advance towards
united Europe (“Our Ukraine/ Nasha Ukraina”, Julia Tymoshenko’s Bloc and the Socialist party)
as well as representatives of the present authoritative oligarchical regime and communists who
see the future of Ukraine in close union with Russia in either a renovated Euroasian or the former
Soviet form. Such a division on “pro-West” and “pro-Euroasian” proponents reflects the
customary geohistorical differentiation of Ukrainian population. Thus, the latest parliamentary
election in spring 2002 witnessed the large-scale victory of Viktor Yushchenko’s right centrist
bloc “Nasha Ukraina” in Halytchyna and its overall victory in all other regions of Western,
Central and Northern Ukraine (excluding the Poltava region, where Olexander Moroz’ Socialist
party outpaced “Nasha Ukraina”), whereas communists and “statepower party” representatives
prevailed in the South and East of Ukraine
11 16
This brief goehistorical review alows regarding the postwar European construction as the initial
uniting process in the European West in consequence of the West European nucleus expansion on
its Northern (1973, 1995) and Southern peripheries (1986). Following the accession of Greece,
which, frankly speaking, was treated more like a country of the North Mediterrainian region and
the successor of ancient Hellas, the European West entered the split space of the “Orient of
Europe” (1981). Absorbing Eastern Germany (1990) and merging Austria (1995) foreboded the
present enlargement onto the Central European states. Given the predictable accession of
Romania and Bolgaria the rest of the Balkan states automatically turn into the inner South
Eastern periphery of the European Communty. Thus, the project of “One Europe” is gradually
eliminating the goehistorical schisms in the minds of the Europeans, separated the European
West from Central Europe, Bysantium and Ottoman Southern East. At the same time European
modern mental geography preserves the civilizational boundary with Turkey and the
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
Commonwealth of Independent States, which is considered to be the successor of the Euroasian
East not without good reason.
Seeing Russian positioning as an equal partner rather than a potential member of the European
Union as well as Russian aspiration for preserving its geopolitical and civilizational zone of
influence the debate on political delimitation of the One Europe is being reduced to the issue of
borders between the enlarged European Union and the “expanded” Russian space without
considering the problem of Turkey. If the geopolitical route for Moldova and Belarus appear to
be practically determined (further EU integration for the former and close union with Russia for
the latter), while the future for the Transcaucasian states is beyond foreseeing, the Ukrainian
issue might require close attention in the coming decade.
Stages and bases of the current unification process on the continent
Contemporary move to unite Europe within a single political and economic community is often
regarded as the latest geopolitical “expansion of the West” or, vice versa, a civilizational
“European homecoming”. We believe that it is worthwhile defining the current advancement of
the European Union to the East of the continent as the process of voluntarily assuming all the
Western norms and values by the countries of the former Eastern Europe, which facilitates their
economic integration as well as further accession to the European Community. Regarding all this
approaching the EU contains four interconnected stages: stabilization, basic europeanisation, the
establishment of association and the acquiring of membership.
1. Stabilization
Internal territorial integrity and friendly relations with country neighbours form the reliable basis
for democratic and market transformations in each post-communist state. However, the
stabilization is not reduced to eliminating military conflict threat or hedging particular regions
(“hard” threats). It presupposes efficient state management which provides for effective
combatting organized crime and corruption inside the country, reliable border controlling and
preventing illigal emigration of its citizens to other countries (“weak” threats). Therefore,
reaching full stability requires the formation of not only a “strong” but also a lawful and wealthy
state with transparent governing, respecting fundamental rights and freedoms of its citizens,
namely, the rights of national minorities, overcoming social and economic backwardness and
poverty of the population. The upsurge of national conflicts in Yugoslavia and the USSR, the
considerable number of national minorities in Central European countries, overall threat of
“weak” risks assigned the stabilization with the prominent role in Western Europe. In practice,
the EU initiated concluding the Stability Pact for Central Eastern (1995) and South Eastern
Europe (1999). Nowadays basic stabilization tasks are pressing for solution in the Transcaucasian
states (undetermined status for Abkhazia, Nagorny Karabakh and Southern Osetia), in the
Russian Federation (the war in Chechnya), in Serbia and Montenegro (the future for Kosovo and
Montenegro), in Moldova (the problem of the Transdniestr region), whereas Bosnia and
Hertzogovina have succeeded in stabilization under the protectorate of the international
community. Although almost all the countries of the Western Balkans pose considerable weak
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
2.Basic europeanisation
Basic europeanisation means the general process of political, economic and social transformation
which promoted the transition of the former socialist states to sustainable democracy, lawful state
and market economy
. In this respect basic europeanisation includes three elements: 1)
fundamental reform of various parts of a national legislation meeting the commitments made to
the European Council, the WTO and the EU (change of legal scope); 2) practical implementation
of new rules of play in political and business activity (change in conduct of local political and
economic agents); 3) European selfidentification by the elit and the majority of population, which
reveals itself in the orientation not only to the civilizational but also to the contemporary political
and economic model of European development (change of collective awareness). In other words,
basic europeanisation is the process of shifting geopolitical boundaries of the European political
. According to the report “Nations in Transit 2003” produced by American non-
governmental organization “Freedom House”, all Central and South East European states (except
Bosnia and Hertzogovina) have already reached the level of consolidated or partially
consolidated democracy, while the CIS European countries remain transitional or autocratic
regimes (see Table 1)
. From its own part, the EU introduced regional financial aid programmes
(PHARE, TACIS, CARDS), which aim at promoting faster stabilization and europeanisation of
post-communist states.
Table 1. Steps of basic europeanisation
al (hybrid)
3,13 3,88 Bosnia
4,31 5,00 Azerbaijan
5,31 5,75
3,25 4,38 Moldova
4,38 5,38 Belarus
6,63 6,13
3,44 4,50 Ukraine
4,50 5,13
3,50 4,63 Armenia
4,69 5,38
Luthuania 1,88
3,94 4,63 Georgia
4,69 5,13
3,94 5,00 Russia
4,88 5,13
3. Establishment of association
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
The institution of association based on article 310 of the Treaty establishing the European
Community (TEC) is often identified with the EU associate membership status. Actually it
embraces various forms of associated partnership which are carried out through specially
established bodies (Councils, committees associations/partnerships) and mainly deal with
promoting various forms of economic integration: joining the Single Market, setting up the
Customs Union or a free trade zone with the EU (see Table 2). Given all this, Partnership and
Cooperation agreements (PCA) with the CIS states should be considered the lowest level of
association, which points out only the possibility to set up a free trade zone with the Russian
Federation, Moldova and Ukraine in future (depending on the realization of economic reforms in
these countries). On the whole the Association agreements concluded by the EU can be fairly
related to the shift of its geoeconomic borders.
Close connection of associated partnership with the EU accession procedure seems none the less
misleading. It is out of doubt that joining the EU goes through preliminary economic
liberalization, which, in its turn, requires an EU country-partner to assimilate numerous elements
of acquis communautaire, whose task is to provide equal and fair competition (harmonization of
antitrust legislation, corporate law, state subsidy regimes, rules for protecting copyright and
consumers’ rights, etc.). Associated partnership undoubtedly facilitates economic modernization
of the associated countries and their approaching the European Union. At the same time the very
fact of concluding Association agreements has limited impact on initiating the EU institutional
accession procedure under which it is much more important for the EU to formally admit the
“applicant” status of a country as well as for the country to apply
. In other words, the realization
of associated partnership differs from the accession procedure, though they are interconnected
processes which can take place simultaneously much the way it happened with the Baltik states
or Slovenia. Sometimes Association agreements serve rather as a means of putting off the
probable membership (first “European” agreements with Poland and Hungary, establishing the
Customs Union with Turkey), as an alternative to the membership itself (the EEA agreement,
probable Neighbourhood agreements with the CIS states), or even as a form of privileged
relations with the former colonies of the Southern Mediterrainian, Tropical Africa or Latin
America regions. On the whole, as is the case with geopolitical Europe, the Eastern geoeconomic
boundary of the European Community coincides with the Western border of the CIS.
Table 2. Steps of economic integration of the European periphery
Level of
The EU-25
Date of
Date of
Characteristic features and commentaries
Czech rep.
agreements, which envisage a probable two-
stage establishment of the Customs Union (in
both cases pending the negotiations on
accession, with the Customs Union on
manufactured goods being not realized)
CCEE: concluding “European agreements”,
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
which stipulate an asymmetrical transition to
free manufactured goods trade zones, partial
liberalization of three other freedoms
Other spheres: political dialogue, introduction of
a visa-free regime
Access to the EU common market through free
movement of manufactured goods, people,
services and capitals (without expansion to
agriculture and Customs regime of the third
world countries).
Other spheres: joining the EU foreign policy
declarations, Norway and Iceland’s joining the
Shengen area
Customs Union introduction since 1.01.1996
regarding manufactured goods
Other spheres: political dialogue, maintaining
the visa regime
Free trade
Switzerland: the 1972 fundamental agreement
on free exchange of goods was supplemented by
a number of other sector agreements, in
particular, by the 1999 agreement on free
movement of people
partnership like for other CCEE, delayed
transition to a visa-free regime
Free trade
zone in the
ons being
Progressive conclusion of Stabilization and
Association agreements, which stipulate an
asymmetrical transition to free trade zones;
The EU’s implementation of substential trade
preferences for the countries of the region
starting with late 2000
Other spheres: arranging political dialogue,
maintaining the visa regime (excluding Croatia)
4. Institutional accession
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
Given the complexity and significance of the EU accession procedure, it may take from 3-4 years
(for instance, for Finland and Sweeden) up to 10 years and more (for the countries involved in the
current enlargement). The EU Council adopts all decisions on enlargement under the unanimity
rule, which grants every member-state the right to veto the candidature of this or that country or,
at least, to efficiently block various stages of the accession procedure. In this respect one should
be aware of the importance of the EU Council’s acknowledgement of the prospective
membership for an applican country, though it is not institutionally required. It emphasizes
common political will of the member-states to affiliate an applicant state provided it qualifies.
As is known, the accession procedure grounds, first of all, on current article 49 of the Treaty on
the European Union (former article 237 of the TEC), which stipulates three basic requirements
established for applicant-states:
1. To be a European state geographically
Despite lengthy debates on borders on the European continent, political geography clearly defines
the essense of “a European state” with particular reservations as to only two Euroasian states such
as Turkey, 3 % of whose territory is in Europe and the rest in Asia, and the Russian Federation,
which can arbitrarily be divided into European and Asian parts. The South Mediterrainian states
are unconditionally referred to as African and Asian countries, while 15 former republics of the
Soviet Union split into new European (Baltic states, Transcaucasian states, Ukraine, Moldova,
Belarus) and Asian (Central Asian states) states
. Following the inconsistency with the basic
geographic criterion, the EEC Council of Ministers rejected Marocco’s application (1987). In its
Communication “Wider Europe – Neighbourhood” the European Commission confirmed the
impossibility of accession to the EU for all its “non-European Mediterranean partners” along with
the probable accession prospects for such “European states” on the East of Europe that “have
clearly expressed their wish to join the Union”.
2. To strive for the EU membership
The obvious character of the statement covers the fundamental principle of voluntary and
democratic structure of the European Community, which neither poses any threats to its
neighbours nor plots any territorial expansion. The European Union respects the sovereign right
of such states as Iceland, Switzerland or Russia to remain aloof from the European integration
process. Thus, the EU membership prerequisite is a clearly shaped national strategy of integration
to the EU as well as an institutionally required application of a European state.
3. To be a sustainable democracy
General Franco’s authoritative regime was the first to make certain that the European Community
is not only a project of economic integration but also a union of democratic nations when it
applied for association with the EEC in 1962. Lengthy negotiations resulted only in Spain’s
signing a trade preferential agreement in 1970. Its further approaching the Community was
distinctly conditioned by its transition to democracy. At the same time, the establishment of
military dictatorship in Greece in 1967 made the European Commission suspend the Association
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
Agreement with this country. However, democratic reforms in Greece, Portugal and Spain in
1974-1975 assisted their furhter integration to the EEC. In the context of the EU enlargment on
Central and East European states the 1993 Copenhagen Council confirmed the existence of stable
democratic institutions as the basic accession criterion. The 1996-1997 Amsterdam
Intergovernmental Conference amended article 49 of the Treaty on the EU that now envisages
that “any European state, which respects the principles set out in Article 6 (1) (principles of
liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law),
may apply to become a member of the Union”. Within the frameworks of meeting the political
criteria, the EU obliged the applicant states from the East of Europe to guarantee the rights of
their national minorities and maintain neighbourly relations in the region.
The Copenhagen European Council of June 1993 consolidated two more important accession
criteria: efficient market economy ready to compete at the EU domestic market; the ability to
acquire acquis communautaire in corpore.
4. To be an efficient market economy
Conformity with the basic priciples of market economy automatically arose from the necessity of
profound convergence of the member states’ economies within the “Common market”.
Meanwhile, as was proved by the accession of Greece, Spain and Portugal, given the current
enlargement of the EU on Central European countries and preplanned absorbing the Balkan states
even considerable recess in social and economic development cannot obstruct the EU
membership, it can only postpone it. In other words, the efficiency of national market
mechanisms rather than current economic wealth is taken into account while considering the
economic state of an applicant-country (a healthy rather than wealthy criteria). The pre-accession
level of economic integration to the European Union is not specified either, which, at least
theoretically, obviates the necessity to conclude a preliminary Association agreement with the EU
for a potential applicant-state.

5. To be concordant with and able to adopt acquis communautaire
The Community put forward the requirement of introducing aggregate acquis communaitaire into
national legislation of an applicant-country during the first enlargement on Great Britain, Ireland
and Denmark (1973). It would not be an exageration to view the general accession procedure as
the process of adopting the acquis communaitaire by an applican-state that sets the subject for
accession negotiations and that all is fixed in an Accession treaty in detail. The approaching of
legislation of post-communist countries to the EU legislation actually started at the stages of
stabilization and basic europeanisation, continued at the stage of implementing Association
agreements and will continue after the official accession date till the full completion of transition
periods envisaged by the Accession treaty. Thus, satisfying this criterion goes far beyond initial
“applicant” attempts of a country and can be assessed by its juridical and administrative
capability to meet the commitmetns made. Observing this prerequisite does not cover, however,
an applicant-state’s probable “eurosceptical” view of goals and final political structure of the
Union, which means the consent to share the contemporary acquis communautaire, and not
necessarily still indeterminate finalité politique. To claim the opposite would mean to deny the
accession of Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries.
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
Nonetheless, institutional approval of these five prerequisites together with principles of their
implementation (general non-discrimination and differentiation of applicant states corresponding
to their progress) does not eliminate certain political and juridical vagueness of the accession
procedure. As has been mentioned above, the founding Treaties and the EU secondary
legislation do not include provisions that would stipulate prerequisites for an applicant-state
status. The Councils of the European Union in Luxemburg (1997) and Helsinki (1999) clearly
stated that adherence to the political component of the Copenhagen criteria is the prerequisite for
initiating the negotiations on accession, while the accession itself will depend on the satisfaction
of economic requirements and the ability to meet the commitments ensuing the EU membership.
It allows us to consider any European democracy as a prospective candidate for the EU
membership. The EEA countries and Switzerland have been recognized as unquestionable
candidates to join the Community and the only obstacle on this way is the lack of political will
expressed by the elite or/and the population ofthese countries. At the same time the question
whether it is eligible to acknowledge the prospective EU membership for authoritarian or
transitional European regimes with the aim of supporting and facilitating their internal
democratic reforms. The history of European integration knows at least two cases of
unambiguous “premature” recognition of accession prospects for Franco’s Spain and Milosevic’s
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which, undoubtedly, fostered the further democracy in those
. The current EU finds it inefficient to follow the same pattern regarding transitional
regimes of Ukraine and Moldova despite the appeals of both the authorities and democratic
opposition of these countries.
It seems reasonable, in this respect, to investigate the details of the debate on the impact, which
the recognition of the EU prospective membership had on fostering the internal transformations
of post-communist countries. In particular, Polish scholar Leszek Jesien believes that the
recognized accession prospect “turns European political and social standards into an effective
shock-absorber for the political life of a given country, which results in certain “foolish” steps of
the ruling top having no chances for political implementation” (Jesien in Kowal, 2002). German
scholars Iris Kempe and Wim van Meurs focus on the interaction of three factors: 1) the current
situation in the country that is taken into account by the European Union while working out its
own strategy of granting financial assistance to that country; 2) policies of the respective national
government that manages the current situation and somehow experiences outward impact; 3) the
EU interference and guidance the success of which depends first and foremost on rendering the
membership prospects to the country (Kempe, van Meurs, 2002).
In practice the formal confirmation of the membership prospects for Central European countries
(June, 1993) took place much later than democratic reformatory governments came to power and
concurred initial economic growth in Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic. Central European
and Baltic countries have always viewed the “back to Europe” policy as a priority, optimal and
single strategy for national development that could logically foster and strengthen democratic and
economic transformations initiated in a country. Therefore, the recognition of the prospective
membership enabled the countries, on the one hand, to legitimize its political alternative and, on
the other hand, to direct and facilitate its internal europeanisation in its basic (politcal pluralism,
fair economic competition, unconstrained judicial power, and the independent press) and
profound integrational (incorporating acquis communautaire) dimentions. The issue of
prospective membership to Bolgaria and Romania and since 1999 the rest of Balkan states
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
derived from the EU political engagement rather than from actual achievements of the region in
the countries’ strive for reaching the Copenhagen criteria. In any case the acknowledgement of
prospective membership becomes expedient only when the elite together with the population of a
country accumulate a certain critical mass of reformatory tendencies which encourages coming to
power of democratic pro-european forces as well as sustainable and consecutive pace. For
instance, if the current Ukrainian authorities prove able to preserve their political and economic
positions, the issue of prospective membership for Ukraine will obviously have no real contents.
At the same time, taking into account 2004 presidential elections that are extremely important for
the country it would undoubtedly be appropriate for the EU to recognize the Ukrainian
prospective membership prematurely. This recognition, as was the case with Yugoslavia, would
have to embody two major aspects: confirming the European future for democratic Ukraine;
expressing support to Ukrainian civil society and democratic opposition in their effort to see
Ukrain as a European state (see footnote 17).
The issue of prospective membership is to be considered first and foremost a political act of the
European community, which demostrates its a priori consent to admit a new member, whereas
the accession procedure itself basically depends on consistency and purposefulness of internal
transformations. The Central European experience proves that sustainable dynamics of the
countries’ European integration movement at the decisive stage was provided at the expense of
efficacious interaction of three factors: 1) consistent monitoring in the form of annual reports to
the Commission that reflected the details of the actual progress of every candidate-state; 2)
instruments of “Accession Partnerships” implemented by the European Union, which combined
in a single document the list of priority direction to realise acquis communautaire for the given
candidate country as well as the EU financial assistance aligned with it; 3) programmes for
adapting to acquis communautaire worked out by candidate countries that were based on
“Accession Partnerships” and envisaged the detailed programme for harmonizing various
branches of national legislation including timetables and references to administrative and
financial means of fulfiling the given tasks. Such a three step scheme of approaching the EU will
soon be fully implemented in the West Balkan countries (monitoring, “European Integration
Partnerships” instruments and national programmes for their implementation).
Statutory vagueness of the EU accession procedure arises from non-compulsory character of its
institutional principles in general. The thing is that the effective accession criteria are only some
kind of operational “rules of game” that do not impose certain legal obligations on member
states (that is to say, the decisions in this sphere are beyond the European Court jurisdiction)
relevant to the way of interpreting appeals for membership from other European countries. The
issue of the EU membership provides the European candidate states with an opportunity, but not
with a right to join the European Union (Torreblanca, 2003). Hence, it seems reasonable to add
the abovementioned five accession criteria with one more significant requirement to a candidate
6. To have the Community’s consent to accession
In addition to readiness criteria to be met by a candidate country it is essential to consider the
Union’s overall capacity to enlarge as well as the positions and interests of particular member
states. Every enlargement of 6 basic countries’ core brought about some discord between the
Community members splitting them into “euro-optimists” and “euro-sceptics”, into investors and
users of European funds, into liberalists and governmentalists, into small and great states, into
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
“the Mediterranean and East European lobbies”, etc. However, it will be a mistake to view the
enlargement process as the one posing threats to the integrity and effectiveness of the European
integration project because starting with the initial absorption of Great Britain, Ireland and
Denmark and finishing with the recent accession of 10 countries the enlargement prospect has
always been “a necessary catalist for long-owerdue reforms”
within the Community. This
statement proved to be the most striking in the current process of the EU enlargment that
enhanced the relisation of the long-standing idea of establishing a political union. What could not
be accomplished during post-war four decades (Pleven and Fouchet plans, Tindemans report,
Genscher-Colombo initiative, Spinelli project), proved credible in Germany uniting and the EU
further expansion to the East
Positioning the member states with regard to the enlargement process is not reduced only to the
preservation of acquis communautaire but is also illustrated by a number of other factors,
namely: geographical and historical proximity of a candidate country, loss of some financial
advantages, disturbance of the Union’s internal political balance as well as traditional strategic
and foreign policy considerations. Germany’s consistent support of issuing the EU membership
for Central and East European countries arises from viewing the enlargment process as a chance
to set up a new European federation (J. Fischer’s approach), special close relations with the
countries of the region and substantial economic advantages. Great Britain and Denmark backed
up rapid expansion to Central and East European countries mainly reckoning that the achieved
differentiation level inside the Union could put an end to political projects of its further
federalisation. Meanwhile, France expressed the greatest number of apprehensions and doubts
related to the accession of Central and East European countries under the pressure of a range of
factors, namely: estimation of enlargement as potential threat to the idea of “Europe-puissance”;
fear of losing its considerable political position in an wider Europe; traditional care for the
Southern Mediterranean. From this point of view such small and relatively prosperous countries
as Slovenia, Hungary and Estonia (which could also expect some member states to lobby their
candidacy) a priori find it much easier to join the EU than, for instance, Turkey or Ukraine the
accession of which could brought about substantial redirection of European budget money.
It is also worth mentioning the impact the traditional regional links and geographical realia have
on the EU enlargement process. It would have been problematic to carry out, for instance, the
1997 first “Luxembourg” project of enlargment to the East, which drew the demarcation line of
the Community separating Czech Republic from Slovakia as well as upsetting political and
economic integrity of the Baltic countries. Issuing membership to Romania brings Moldova
closer to the European Union and probable accession of Turkey will attract the Union’s attention
to the Transcaucasian region. Taking into account the EU new neighbours (countries of “joint
periphery”) it is also worth considering the Russian Federation factor both at level of the EU-
Russia relations and at the level of relations and commitments within the former Soviet Union
The conclusion might be that the EU enlargement process seems realizable with political will to
mutual approach clearly expressed both by the elit and population of a candidate state and by
existing member states and European institutions.
Wider Union or almost “One Europe”
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
Guided by the European Commission Report “Programme 2000 – For stronger and wider Union”
the Luxembourg European Council of December 1997 initiated global, inclusive and
evolutionary process of institutional enlargement to the East, which was to include several steps
relevant to the rate of development and the level of readiness of every candidate country. Five
years later 15 old and 10 new member states confirmed persistent, inclusive and irreversible
character of the enlargement process as well as their desire to construct a “One Europe”
. As a
result, the European Union is to become more than twice as large and to occupy geographically
almost the whole map of Europe except its Eastern part.
Despite its scale and complexity the current development of the European Community
corresponds completely with the set paradigms of the enlargement process. In this relation
Spanish researcher J. I. Torreblanca suggests viewing the EU enlargement to the Central and East
European countries in the light of accomodation between economic, security and institutional
interests of the member states and normative principles of the European Union (Torreblanca,
2003). This dynamic model of “negotiated accomodation” is derived from particular essense of
the EU political system, namely: settled consensus culture that obliges the member states to look
for a compromise and repudiates the veto of any country if it is not properly grounded and its
removing is not conditioned; decentralised character of governance within the Community
(“governance without governement”) that results in setting up unstable coalitions and
complicated interrelation of interests of numerous institutional actors in the process of adopting a
decision; incompleteness of institutional and political structure of the EU that can result in
vagueness, evolution and discrepancies of the EU statutory principles and rules (for instance, the
deepening versus widening debate).
Under such conditions the EU enlargement process is carried out at the expense of concluding
package deals that enable meeting the Community’s interests in general (a corresponding
adjustment to another expansion of European institutions and common policies) while
accomodating the interests of some member states, with any other enlargement move specifying
and intesifying statutory principles that member states are guided by when considering new
applications for membership. According to Torreblanca, at the time when the Berlin wall
collapsed the general normative doctrine of enlargement proceeded from the fact that the
European Community was open for all European democracies with market economies and ready
to admit and follow acquis communautaire. Thus, those member states, which objected to the EU
expansion to the East, had only two possibilities: to call into question the ability of a candidate
country to satisfy the accession criteria specifically detailed by the Copenhagen European
Council of June 1993; or to point out the inability of the Community itself for such enlargement.
Taking into account the general context of accomodating the interests of the member states and
the normative principles of enlargement the EU decisions on issuing the prospective membership
and initiating talks with the candidate country appear to be governing. It will be fair to define
three distinctive processes of the current enlargement of the European Union that is embracing
Central European countries, the West Balkans and Turkey.
1. Inevitable but not urgent enlargement to the CEECs
Recognising the dynamic character of europeanisation of Central European countries the
discussion on their joining the European Union rather quickly reduced to determining the
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
conditions for enlargement (the EU previous adaptation level, the adoption of phases and
participants of the enlargement process). Mutual rapprochement of the CEECs and the European
Union went through the following stages:
1.1. 1989 – the first half of 1993
The period from democratic revolitions in Cenral European countries till the official recognition
of their candidate status can be characterised as a period of “deliberate ambiguity”, during which
the Community neither objected to nor confirmed prospective membership for the CEECs. For
instance, the Preambles of the Association agreements concluded with Hungary and Poland in
December 1991 recognised only the desires expressed by both countries to join the Community
but not the consent of the Community itself
. French President F. Mitterrand even made the
public statement in June 1991 that enlargement to the East would be carried out after “decades
and decades of years to pass” and suggested for that “indefinitely long transitional period” not
going beyond establishing “a European Confederation that could unite all countries of the
continent (together with the still existing USSR) within the frames of a single organisation based
on exchanges, peace and security” (Deloche-Gaudez, 1998). The recognition of prospective
membership in June 1993 (the Copenhagen Summit) was conditioned by clearly drawn accession
criteria and “compensated” by three factors: excluding the most sensitive branches (agriculture,
textile, coal-mining and metallurgy industries) from the liberalised trade with the CEECs (within
the Association agreement); progress achieved in implementing the Maastricht Treaty (the
establishment of Economic and Monetary Union, in particular); doubling structural assistance for
less prosperous member states within the framework plan of the Union finance (Delors II
Package) for 1993-1999. All these elements with no timelimits taken together made it impossible
for the most reluctant members to reject issuing prospective membership for the CEECs.
1.2. June 1993 – December 1995
During this period almost all Central European countries (except the Czech Republic and
Slovenia) applied for accession. In its turn following up the initiative of Germany and the
European Commission the Essen Summit of December 1994 introduced the pre-accession
strategy regarding candidate countries aimed at promoting their integration into the EU domestic
market through realising “European” agreements, determining priorities in the adoption of acquis
(approval of the White Paper Commission in May 1995) as well as building up
financial aid. Following up the demands of France, Spain and Italy the acceleration of the
enlargement to the East was “balanced” by establishing the association with the Southern
Mediterranean (Euro-Mediterranean partnership). In addition to this the institutional reform of
1996 was to preceed the accession talks with the CEECs.
1.3. December 1995 – December 1997
The Madrid European Council of December 1995 was the first to set the probable date for
initiating talks on admitting the CEECs – 6 months after successful conclusion of the
Intergovernmental Conference of 1996. In conformity with it, following the Amsterdam Treaty of
June 1997, the European Commission submitted the “Programme 2000” presenting in this
package deal its conclusions regarding the readiness of candidate countries, a new instrument of
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
Accession Partnership, proposals on the Community budget for 1999-2006 and reforms in
Common policies.
1.4. December 1997 – December 2002
The Luxemburg Summit of December 1997 adopted the decision to initiate the accession talks
with 6 best prepared candidate countries and confirmed enhanced pre-accession strategy
regarding all the candidate countries, with the existing member states being certain that their
previous access to agricultural and structural funds had been preserved for 1999-2006 and
committing themselves to further reforming European institutions. In its turn the Helsinki
European Council of December 1999 acceeded to launching negotiations with the rest of
candidate countries, confirmed the schedule for another Intergovernmental Conference and
supported concluding the accession talks with the most successful candidate countries by the end
of 2002 provided the renovated Treaty was concludded and ratified. The Nice Summit Council of
December 2000 succeeded in finishing the current Intergovernmental Conference and scheduled
the CEEC’s joining the EU – by June 2004, i.e. by carrying out new elections to the European
Parliament. Finally the accession negotiations with 10 candidate countries resulted in concluding
the Accession treaty (December, 2002), which after its signing (April, 2003) and ratification by
25 countries of the wider Union will come into effect 1 May 2004.
Following this, 8 Central European and Baltic countries will be able to join the Union 15 years
after the Berlin Wall collapse and 11 years after the recognition of their prospective membership.
During 2004-2006 the EU total net expenditures for new member states will not exceed 25 billion
euros (as much as 0,08 % the EU annual GDP). In future, the enlargement process will have
moderate impact on the EU budget as a whole and that of some countries of the “Old Europe”
taking into account transition periods and restrictions set for new member states (regarding access
to agricultural and structural funds) as well as on further reforming common agricultural and
regional p olicies.
2. Long unachievable but inevitable enlargement to the West Balkan countries
The European advancement of the West Balkan countries (Albania and the republics of the
former Yugoslavia except Slovenia) was hampered for decades of years due to tragic realia of
Yugoslavia’s break-up accompanied by the former nomenclature elits holding power. The
situation radically changed in 1999-2000 owing to interrelation of external and internal factors.
The war in Kosovo once and for all convinced the Europeans that only institutinal accession to
the EU of all South-East European countries will help to solve the problem of “hard” and “shaky”
stabilisation of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and
Albania as well as facilitate their democratic consolidation and overcoming economic
backwardness. The rise of the European prospect for the countries of the region coincided with
democratic pro-european forces coming to power in Croatia (after F. Tudjman’s death) and the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (overthrowing Milosevic’s regime). Moreover, given the
accession negotiations starting with Bolgaria and Romania the West Balkans automatically turn
into the EU internal enclave. It is also worth mentioning that absorbing this internal periphery
will mean “digesting” another Romania for the European Union especially taking into account
the total territory and population of the five countries. Hence, in June 1999 the EU Council
launched the process of stabilisation and association in the West Balkans that contemplated
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
concluding Stabilization and Association agreements and issuing the EU “full integrated”
membership. A year later the Feira European Council reaffirmed that all the countries of the
region “are potential candidates for the EU membership”.
In June 2003 the process of integrating the Balkan countries to the European Union entered
another stage after adopting the “European Integration Partnerships” instrument, enhancing
political dialogue and technical aid, involving the countries of the region into various
programmes of the Community (in education, research area, culture, energy, environment, etc.).
Therefore, the process is the gradual transition from the basic stabilisation and association
instruments to the mechanisms of pre-accession strategy. The West Balkan countries’ joining the
EU is likely to extend and include several steps. The obvious leader of the West Balkan race is
Croatia, it has already applied for membership and hopes to catch up with such current
enlargement outsiders as Bolgaria and Romania. Macedonia and Albania can be the second to
cross the finish line, while Bosnia and Herzegovina together with Serbia and Montenegro will
need much more time to acquire acquis communautaire due to their instability, with the latter
being able to enlarge the Community with three more potential members, namely: Serbia,
Montenegro and Kosovo. It should also be mentioned that the enlargement to the South East of
Europe follows the way of package deals and compensations for the existing member states.
Proceeding from this we can claim that the current enhanced integration of the region followed
the proclamaition of the Wider Europe concept that anticipates further enlargement to the East for
at least mid-term perspective
3. Probable enlargement to Turkey
The Helsinki European Council of December 1999 unconditionally stated that Turkey is a
candidate country that has a calling for joining the European Union on the basis of the same
criteria that are applied to othe candidate countries and estended its full-fledged pre-accession
strategy on the country. Three years later the Copenhagen European Council reassured the pro-
european Turkish government that in December 2004 the European Union would adopt the
decision to launch the accession talks provided Turkey met the political precondition of the
Copenhagen criteria. Meanwhile, in its latest resolution on Turkey’s application (May, 2003) the
European Parliament established that the country had not fulfilled the preconditions to launch
accession negotiations yet. Besides, the debate on the prospects of establishing democracy and
law-governed state in Turkey stambles over another obstacle, namely: the country’s vast territory
along with its economic backwardness. With the present population growth rate being preserved,
Turkey will have 82 million people in 2015, which will provide it with the chance to claim the
status of the biggest and the most influential EU member state. Not exceeded 30 % of the annual
per capita GDP of the EU-15, Turkey has large and underdeveloped argicultural sector
(employing about 40 % labour force) and is distinct for considerable deviation of social and
economic development of its regions. Hence, Turkey, being an EU member State, would obtain
the lion’s share of the EU agricultural and structural funds. Nevertheless, there is good ground for
the country to join the European Union in 2015 provided it gains democracy and furhter balances
its share in agricultural and structural funds in the expenditures part of the EU budget.
Wider Europe or how to enlarge the European Union without shifting its institutional
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
The Wider Europe strategy (the WES) was confirmed by the Council of the EU in June 2003 on
the basis of the March Communication from the European Commission “Wider Europe –
Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Nieghbours”.
The new doctrine found its institutional reflection in Article І-56 of the European Constitution
draft that stipulates that “the Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring States,
aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the
Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation. For this purpose,
the Union may conclude and implement specific agreements…, which may contain reciprocal
rights and obligations as well as the possibility of undertaking activities jointly”. In practice the
formula “everything except institutions” grants the chances for reinforced economic integration
(gradual access to the Union’s domestic market); for enhanced political dialogue; wider
application of visa-free regime; close cooperation on preventing and combatting conflicts and
crises, on judicial, domestic policy and legal assistance, on trans-boundary and regional
cooperation, transport, energy, telecommunications networks, culture, research area, education
and environmental protection; implementation of a new financial instrument of neighbourhood.
By its juridical and practical aspects the WES fits the frames of the operating association
institution and according to the intentions of its founders it is to guarantee the integrity and
consistency of the Wider EU policy regarding its neighbour countries while being “an acceptable
alternative for membership”
for the countries. Strategically, the neighbourhood initiative puts
an “extremely ambicious” (Wallace, 2003) task for itself to bring the EU relations with its
Southern and Eastern peripheries to the level of relations in the European economic area. In other
words, the EU neighbour countries can join the European geoeconomic space in exchange for
adopting the basic values of geopolitical Europe and a considerable share of acquis
. Reverting to the dilemma exposed in the preamble to this article, we can assert
that the EU decide to take the way of close association this time, which helps to avoid further
attempts of institutional and budget adaptation for a mid-term perspective, at least, that would
result from another enlargement to the East European countries.
Working out a single strategy in relations with the Mediterranean and East European countries
can be substantiated by a number of factors: certain resemblance of their social and economic
characteristics (the problems of stabilisation, democratisation, inefficient governance and
poverty); valuable historic, cultural, economic and social links that connect the neighbour
countries with the wider EU; challenges of the geographical neighbourhood itself (the regulation
of frontier exchanges and the combatting of common security threats). In relation to this
outstanding researcher Michael Emerson suggests regarding the WES as a “the European Union’s
friendly Monro Doctrine” that proclaims East European and the Greater Middle East countries
(the Southern Mediterranean, the Arab Peninsula and Iran) “the EU’s area of vital interest”
(Emerson, 2002). Furthermore, the determination of common grounds and criteria for
raproachement between the EU and neighbour countries derive from the necessity to promote
sustainablity and consistency of foreign-policy efforts of the wider EU that can find it
complicated to coordinate the interests of its old and new Member States.
Along with this the WES grounds on a differential and step-by-step approach following which
every neighbour country will be offered an individual Action Plan, and in compliance with this
the integration to the EU domestic market will be carried out taking into account the fulfillment
of the Action Plan and the established general accession criteria. The suggested scheme follows
the three-componental raproachement formula that the EU successfully applied to the Central
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
European countries (annual monitoring carried out by the Commission, the EU Action Plans and
national Programmes of their realisation adopted by neighbour countries) with the significant
distinction that the aim is profound association rather than membership. Taking into account
those difficulties and mutual frustration that characterise the EU current relations with Ukraine,
Moldova and the majority of the Southern Mediterranean the neighbourhood concept makes an
important step forward because it fills the relations with actual and binding sense for both sides.
At the same time the WES calls for deeper analysis in the context of global postcommunist
evolution of the continent. As the beginning of this article says, the collapse of communist
regimes in East European countries spurred vivid discussion about new arrangements in the
“common European home”. In this connection some European politicians and experts supported
either the establishment of a pan-european confederation (F! Mitterrand, Jacques Delors, the
1998 Report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) or the establishment of a
special membership status on the basis of flexible and partial implementation of the acquis
(Jacques Attali, Charles Grant). Instead of the current and long-term enlargement process such a
scenario would foster institutional and geopolitical adjustment of new East European
democracies to the European Union. The associated membership formula could embrace all
European countries that meet the democracy criterion but either temporarily fail to meet other
criteria or do not strive for full membership (the CIS European countries, the Balkan countries,
the Common Economic Area, Swtzerland, Turkey)
The suggested neighbourhood concept grounds on opposite fundamental, i.e. gradual economic
integration that not only remains within the frames of the existing institution of association, but
also spreads over non-european neighbour countries of the EU. The WES contradicts, therefore,
the proclaimed paradigm of a One Europe because it regards East European countries not as
potential candidates for membership that can join the EU on condition of meeting the accession
criteria, but as close foreign-policy partners of the Union. For lack of new institutional
mechanisms it would be appropriate to spread the integration strategy, which is gradual, full-
fledged and conditioned by actual integration results, over those East European countries that
expressed their strive for membership following the pattern of the stabilisation and association
process carried out by Brussels in the West Balkan countries. In consequence, the concept of
Wider Europe can be accounted in Ukraine and Moldova as a strategy of constraining the
integration intentions of these countries rather than an effective way of their approaching the
European Union.
In fact it seems most appropriate to consider the WES to be the prolongation of the EU policy of
“deliberate uncertainty” carried out regarding the CIS European countries. Despite the fact that
some present leaders of the European Commission and some Member States repeatedly
expressed the vision of an “ideal Europe” without its Eastern part, the nieghbourhood concept
never excludes the possibility for East European countries to be issued the prospective
membership. As Romano Prodi admitted “so whatever our proximity policy is or will be no
European state that complies with the Copenhagen criteria ... will be denied this prospect” (R.
Prodi, decembre 2002). On the contrary, the WES and probable neighbourhood agreements can
become an effective means of reaching the aim because they offer even more (full access to the
EU domestic market) than Association agreements with the CEECs that envisaged only setting up
free trade zones with the EU.
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
In practice the WES includes three groups of neighbour countries:
1. European countries of “common periphery” striving for the EU membership
The wait-and-see attitude the European Union demostrates to the East European countries that
since now on constitute “common close neighbourhood” for the Wider Union and the Russian
Federation dooms the current East European policy of the EU to a conceptual failure. In other
words, the European economic area model, to which the WES orients, does not strategically
correspond to the new Eastern periphery of the Community. It is obvious that these East
European countries have ony two possible scenarios for development, i.e. actual democratic and
market reforms and gradual institutional integration to the EU resulting from democratic forces’
coming to power; further “declarative europeanisation” (Wolchuk, 2003) and raproachement
between them and Russia in case the current authorities in the countries do not qualitatively
transform. At the same time, we regard as unlikely the scenario by which East European
countries acquire the main part of acquis communautaire and shape together with the EU the
“area of welfare and common values” retaining the status of “neighbours” or “friends” rather than
wishing to become full-fledged members of the European family. According to the EEA
functioning experience, this form of profound economic integration puts the Union’s partners into
an unfavourable position since it compels them to acquire more and more elements of acquis
having no possibility to influence their adoption. It is not surprising that under
such conditions the majority of potential candidates to join the EEA found it much better to be
issued full EU membership (Austria, Finland, Sweden) or, at least, make an attempt in this
respect (national referendum failures in Norway and Switzerland). After Norway joins the
European Union, which is most probable, the EEA can reduce to tiny Iceland and Liechtenstein
besides the EU countries.
At present Moldova and Ukraine have stated their intention to join the European Union. A new
leadership of Georgia stresses the European future for his country. Yet the authoritative regime of
Lukashenko together with Armenia impaired by the fight for Nagorny Karabakh are attracted by
Russia, while Azerbaijan is close to establishing the Aliev dynasty regime under the patterns of
despotisms set up in Central Asia. Thus, taking into account compliance with the first two basic
criteria of membership the number of potential members of EU increases only by 2-3 countries
(from preplanned 33 to 35-36 countries). Moreover, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia have not
solved the main tasks of stabilisation and basic europeanisation yet, though these countries’ (or,
at least, some of the countries’) way to sustainable democracy, law-goverened state and efficient
market economy can be overcome much faster than during “several decades of years”
2. “Wider” Russia
As distinct from Ukraine and Moldova, “the most important neighbour” (Pelczynska-Nalecz,
2002) of the European Union, which is the Russian Federation, would seem to “fit” the doctrine
of Wider Europe perfectly. “As a world power situated on two continents”
, Russia considers
itself to be an equal strategic partner (of one of the poles of a bipolar world) rather than a
potential EU member. Strategic partnership between the European Union and Russia anticipates
gradual establishment of four common spaces (Common European Economic Space (CEES);
Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice; the Commun Space of External Security; The
Common Space of Research and Education), launching the work of the EU-Russia Permanent
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
Partnership Council, profound energy dialogue as well as cooperation in environmental realm.
Though it is intersting to note that the EU-Russia relations actually exceed the neighbourhood
initiative and, therefore, are subject to neither regular monitoring carried out by the European
Commission nor strict compliance with the adopted progress criteria. According to the joint
Declaration of the Sankt-Peterburg EU-Russia Summit of May 31, 2003 the process of
raproachement between the Community and Russia will be carried out on the “equal basis” as
well as on the basis of determined “specific tasks and mutual agreement”.
One can forecast that the relations between the EU and Russia will develop through complex and
sometimes uncompromise dialogue on mutual trade concessions, wider application of visa-free
regime and foreign policy issues. There also exist serious hidden dangers threatening the EU-
Russia strategic partnership. In contradiction with declared commonness of values the EU and
Russia have rather different views on the tasks, priorities and prospects of mutual partnership.
Despite certain achievements in economic sphere Putin’s Russia is far from meeting the
Copenhagen criteria and pursues the classical foreign policy doctrine based on the priority
protection of national interests and traditional geopolitical approach (Lynch, 2003). In addition to
considering the “internal” problem of Chechnya the European Union should coordinate its
strategic partnership with Russia and the proclaimed tasks of “europeanisation” of the East
European periphery. The matter is that Russia is definitely not fascinated with profound
democratic and market transformation of new East European countries and close raproachement
between them and the European Union
. Russian leadership believe that the former Soviet
republics can move to the European Union only together with Russia, i.e. within the regional
association set up and controled by the Kremlin. It is remarkable that along with negotiating the
establishment of the CEES with the EU Russia is simultaneously making attempts to establish the
Common Economic Space with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Avoiding the penetration into
obvious discrepancies of such a dual profound economic integration, it is worth emphasizing that
the post-Soviet Russia severely hampers internal democratisation and stabilisation in the East of
Europe (backing up athoritative regimes of Lukashenko and Kuchma, resisting Moldova and
Georgia in their attempts to find solutions for the Trans-Dniester and Abkhasian conflicts). Yet
Belarus is the only country out of 6 belonging to “common periphery” that actually belongs to the
Russian geopolitical and geoeconomic space.
3. Non-European neighbours of the EU
Following the demand of France and Spain the neighbourhood initiative was extended to the
South Mediterranean, which, as these countries and the European Commission belive, is expected
to enhance the existing mechanisms of Euro-Mediterranean partnership (the Barcelona Process).
The importance of this mainly Muslim region for the European Union is determined not only by
the current global fight against terrorism, but also is conditioned by a number of stable
components, i.e. geographical and historical proximity, close economic ties, the existence of
numerous Muslim minorities in the EU countries, considerable destabilising potential of the
region (Palestina and Israel conflict, the Iraq war, substantial “weak risks” of illegal
immagration). Taking it all into account the European Union is vitally concerned with arranging
balanced intercultural and intercivilizational dialogue with Arab Muslim world as well as its
modernisationa and democratisation. The Wider Europe formula conceptually corresponds to the
wish of the King of Morocco who appealed to the EU to establish special relations that would
offer “a bit less than a membership and a bit more than an association.”
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
At the same time, as 8 years of experience of the Barcelona process proved, the Euro-
Mediterranean partnership met several serious obstacles, the main of which is considerable
differences in civilizational and current political development of the parties. Israel and, probably,
Lebanon are the only countries of the Northern Africa and Middle East that can satisfy the
political requirement of the Copenhagen criteria. In other words, there is no considering the
“europeanisation” of these countries following the CCEE pattern, we can only speak about their
gradual social and economic modernisation and democratisation following their own patterns. In
this respect, the impossibility for the South Mediterranean to join the European Union is
conditioned not only by geographical realia but also by not less obvious “geography of values”
Europe as a dream for unity
In his well-known lecture course delivered in 1944-1945 French historian Lucien Febvre
characterised the European idea as “a dream for unity”. At dawn of the ХХІ century the dream
that seemed unattainable for many generations of the Europeans is close to becoming a reality.
The ideal model of a united Europe could include two or, probably, three concentric circles. The
main circle (One Europe) would include 25 Member States of the present enlarged Union,
Bolgaria, Romania, the West Balkan countries, Moldova, Ukraine, Turkey and the
Transcaucasian countries. The outer circle (Wider Europe) would include European countries that
do not strive for joining the EU institutionally as well as non-European neighbours from the
Northern Africa and Middle East. The Wider Europe countries would shape the Common
European Economic Space founded on the Pan-European and Mediterranean free trade zone. In
the course of time the probable inner circle (deeper Europe) would be founded on the
mechanisms of enhanced cooperation shaped by those EU countries that would strive for deeper
integration forms than acquis communautaire accepted by everyone, with any European state
having the right to join any of the three circles under the conditional openness principle provided
it met the set criteria.
As has been mentioned before, the present concept of the Wider Europe makes it possible for any
European democracy to seek the EU membership. A possible rejection can be conditioned by two
fundamental postulates: the inability of a candidate country to satisfy the accession criteria; the
inability of the Union itself for such enlargement.
The application of periodic monitoring and Action plans in relations with the East European
countries enables an integral and objective assessment of their progressive movement towards the
EU. Along with this, it is much more difficult to estimate the readiness of the Union itself,
because such an analysis bases largely on subjective views of some member states rather than on
clearly distinguished criteria. Nowadays some West European leaders and the European
Commission leadership deny a-priori the possibility of the further enlargement of the European
Community to the East European countries, justifying it with the necessity “to preserve the
internal balance and cohesion of the Union” (Prodi, December, 2003).
Such reasoning, however, brings about some questions. First, as the President of the European
Commission stated concerning the current enlargement, the efficient structure of the Community
“completely depends on the clear division of powers between European institutions and current
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
procedures. It is hundreds of times as easy to work within the 27-member Union according to the
majority vote principle as within the EU-15 that adopt decisions according to the unanimity
principle” (Prodi, 2001). Granted the successful adoption of the draft Constitutional Treaty, the
institutional and political structure of the European Union will become qualitatively renewed,
which means: transition to a duel-majority system of adopting decisions by qualified majority in
the EU Council of Ministers
; further narrowing the sphere of application of the unanimous
voting procedure etc. One can assume that, granted the implementation of the new Constitutional
Treaty (approximately in 2009) and its most likely further reform, the European Union
will be
capable of expanding farther beyond the currently coordinated Eastern land border. Moreover,
the probable EU enlargement to Turkey will require further reforms in common agricultural and
structural policies, which, in its turn, could facilitate the integration of underdeveloped East
European countries.
Second, the idea of “internal inability of the Community to enlarge” cannot at all be applied to
Moldova and the Transcaucasian countries that are small by both size and population number.
The European Union, which from the present 15 members (377 million people) is planning to
enlarge to 32 (500 million people) or 33 (570 million people together with Turkey) members, is
quite capable of absorbing Ukraine with less than 50 million population. Actually the real threat
to the integrity and domestic political balance of the European Union can be posed by the
probable enlargement to biggest country of the continent – the Russian Federation – and, to a less
extent, to Turkey (taking into account its stable demographic growth). The issue of the EU
prospective membership for Russia is not to be on the agenda of the Union until the Russian
leadership files the application for accession. However, such a scenario seems to be unlikely even
supposing that Russian currently weak democratic forces and civil society will manage to
transform the present model of Putin’s “guided democracy” into a sustainable democratic
government. The matter is that even European and democratic Russia will logically strive for
remaining one of the world’s poles of influence and, accordingly, will not express desire to lose
its independence in adopting decisions and to concede a significant part of its sovereignity in
favour of the European Union.
Naturally, the European Union is not obliged to admit the countries of the “common periphery”.
Yet the leaders of the One Europe should be aware of the consequences of such a political
decision. As was the case with the Western Balkans, the strengthening of stability, democracy
and prosperity in East European countries is possible only in view of their prospective full
institutional integration to the EU. Thus, the Wider Union faces the following alternative: either
purposeful support of internal democratic and economic transformations on Ukraine, Moldova
and the Transcaucasian countries with their further institutional and budget adjustment to
“absorbtion” or consent to border on weak authoritative regimes that can pose the danger of
potential or existing conflicts and constant “weak threats”.
There is no doubt that the pace of progress of East European countries to the One Europe will be
determined primarily by the pace of their internal progress towards the EU common values and
standards. In this respect, Ukraine, which is the European country that has not determined its
position yet, could go through the following three-stages striving for the EU membership the
initial point for which must be the victory of the leader of the Ukrainian democratic opposition at
the coming Presidential elections (autumn 2004):
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
1. To become the best neighbour (2004 – 2009)
The new Ukrainian leadership finally launches a large-scale programme of europeanisation and
social and economic modernisation of the country. Simultaneously Ukraine obtains the WTO
membership, reaches the EU consent to establish free trade zones and gradually incorporates the
priorities of the acquis communautaire (including probable but not obligatory conclusion of a
new neighbourhood agreement between the EU and Ukraine). As a result, Ukraine can expect to
be granted the status of one of “the best nieghbours” of the EU.
2. To become a candidate country for the EU membership (2009 – 2012)
Receiving the European Commission’s approval of its first success and enlisting the preliminary
support of the “East European lobby” within the frames of the Wider Union Ukraine applies to
the EU for accession. Taking into account the achieved results and reforms the European Union
has no other choice than to issue a candidate country status for Ukraine and approve the decision
to launch the accession negotiations.
3.To become a member state (2012 – 2019)
At this final raproachement stage Ukraine and the EU start the full liberalisation of mutual trade
and conduct the accession negotiations. Along with this, the Common European Economic Space
between the EU and the Russian Federation becomes enacted. Purposeful efforts of the Ukrainian
side, simultaneous reforms of common agricultural policy as well as, perhaps, the EU’s review of
the Constitutional Treaty result in successful conclusion of the accession negotiations. After
ratifying the Accession Treaty Ukraine obtains the EU membership starting, for instance, on May
1, 2019 to have the possibility to participate in the coming elections to the European Parliament.
The realisation of such a scenario of European ascent of Ukraine might be longer than estimated,
though, whatever the joining date is, the main idea is that a new Ukrainian leadership and the
Wider Union should demostrate mutual political will to achieve full-fledged raproachement. With
this aim in view it is simply important to remember that the European integration remains the
project of free union of European democracies founded on common ideals, social and economic
solidarity and the desire to eliminate the existing boundaries and borders. “Searching for Europe
means creating it!” (Rougemont, 1961).
It was in the Preamble to the Treaty on Establishing the EEC of 1957 that 6 founding states
stressed the open character of the European integration project “calling upon the other peoples of
Europe who share their ideal to join in their efforts”. Article 237 of the EEC Treaty (present
Article 49 of the EU Treaty) confirmed the right of any European state to apply for the
Community membership.
The Report of the European Commission for the Lisbon European Council of June 1992.
For instance, in his welcoming speech on the occasion of completing the national referendum
on joining the EU President of Poland Alexandre Kwasnewski stated: “We are coming back to
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
the great European family to the place that has belonged to the Polish people in view of
thousands of years of history ... See
, June 8, 2003.
In particular, according to former Head of the European Commission Forward Studies Unit
Jérôme Vignon (interview to “Le Monde” of November 17, 1999), “Ukraine is none of the “grey
zones”, it belonges to the Russian space and there is no vital need to destabilise it for the sake of
political absorbtion of Ukraine by the European Union...”. Present leader of the French right-
wing Alain Juppé commented in July 2003 (
) that the European Union “the
enlargement of which has practically been finished with the exception of the Balkans” and Russia
should shape two “global poles of influence” between which a “strategic partnership” should be
Geohistorical science, i.e. “humanitarian, mental and retrospective geography” was founded by
French researcher Fernand Braudel in 1949 as a counterbalance to the German geopolitical
research school. According to Braudel and his followers’ approach geohistory studies the most
significant social, political and economic realia and structures that emerge in the course of long
time and characterise large territorial masses. Thus, while classical geopolitics focuses on states,
geohistory concentrates on studying wider civilizational spaces.
In his book “Grammaire des civilisations” Fernand Braudel (1963) defines the term
“civilization” using categories of space, society, economy, collective mentality and long-term
historic reality. In his other work “La Méditerranée. L’Espace et l’histoire” (1985: 167) Braudel
emphasises two fundamental characteristics of civilizations: 1) “Civilizations are very long-term
realities”; 2) “Civilizations are strongly tied to their geographical spaces”. This gives us the
grounds to describe a civilization as, primarily, a geohistorical space.
We are dealing with the central regions of this geohistorical space that gradually moved from
the area of influence of Bisantium (the early 12
century) to the area of influence of the Ottoman
empire (the second half of the 15
century). Besides, both empires embraced the Eastern and
Southern Mediterranean at different times.
As Jenö Szücs (1985: 84) impartially noticed, whereas absolutism in the West constituted one
of the stages of its social and political evolution, Russian absolutism (starting with Ivan III and
Ivan IV reigns) constituted the basis for all further development of the East.
This was the way former President of the European Commission Jacques Delors characterised
the issue of European borders. See “Le Monde” of January 19, 2000.
It is significant that the very historical names “Ukraine” and “Krajina ” (the territory of the
Eastern Croatia along the border on Bosnia) reflect the sustainable periphery status of these
See, in particular, the analysis of Olexandre Souchko (2002). It will be also appropriate to cite
the returns of the national poll conducted by the Rasumkov Centre on January 30 – February 6
2002 according to which the development of relations with the EU countries is the issue of
primary importance for 56 % of the Western region population, 31,3 % of the Central region
population and, correspondingly, 24 % й 21,9 % of residents of the South and East. At the same
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
time, priority is given to the relations with Russia by, correspondingly, 45,1 % and 34,3 % of
residents of the East and South of the country, 27,8 % of those living in the Central region and
only 9,4 % of those living in the Western Ukraine. Besides, 25,7 % of residents of the South, 21,
7 % of residents of the East, 21,4 % of residents of the Centre and 13, 1 % of residents of the
West supported the priority of relations with the CIS countries. See “National Security and
Defence”. – 2002. - № 2. – pp. 35 – 45.
The concept of “europeanisation” is usually used in social sciences to describe the impact the
European architecture has on the activity of national actors, on the process of adopting decisions
and fulfilling traditional state powers in the EU Member States. Europeanisation can also be
wider defined as adopting fundamental norms and values of the West European community (by
the former authoritative European regimes) that are not necessarily reduced to acquis
. See, for example, M. Emerson, 2003.
If proceed from the statement that any geopolitical community is the space for implementing
some political project, then geopolitical Europe can be drawn as a space for market economy and
law-governed state actual functioning. See Michel Foucher (1993: 15).
A Democratisation score (DEM) is an average of an electoral process, development of civil
society, independent media and governance ratings. A Rule of law score (ROL) bases on average
of constitutional, legislative, judicial framework and corruption ratings. “Freedom House”
determines the figures for countries at a 7-point scale, where 1 corresponds to “consolidated
democracies”, 3 – “democracies with some consolidation”, 4 – “transitional governments or
hybrid regimes, 5 - autocracies, 7 – “consolidated autocracies”. The abovementioned rates reflect
the state of democratic development of post-communism countries for 2002. It is necessary to
notice that the state of economic liberalisation shows a different picture, in particular, taking into
consideration relatively better indices of the Russian Federation.
Thus, in its Communication of August 27, 1990 (COM/90/398final) devoted to European
Agreements the European Commission pointed out that the possibility of accession “would not be
affected by the conclusion of association agreements”.
As was impartially stated by Spanish politologist Débora Miralles (2002), the Southern
Mediterranean could aspire to join the EU only on condition of removing the requirement of
geographical belonging to Europe from Article 49 of the EU Treaty. These fundamental realia of
political geography, however, do not prevent some West European politicians from putting the
European countries of the CIS in the same line as some countries of Maghreb or the Middle East.
For instance, one of the leaders of the German Christian Democrats Michael Gloss claimed in
Bundestag that “Turkey’s joining the EU will set a precedent for such states as Morocco and
Ukraine”, “Handelsblatt” of December 4, 2002. In his turn, former Minister and Deputy of the
European Parliament from France Alain Lamassoure (2003: 39) believes that incompliance with
the geographical criterion brought about the recognition of the candidature of Turkey and puts the
issue of probable EU membership for Ukrainem Moldova, Morocco, Russia and Israel on the
In particular, in the Declaration of October 6, 1975 (one and a half month before Franco’s
death and 20 months before holding democratic elections) Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
EEC supported the idea that “democratic Spain found its place among European countries”. In its
turn, the Feira Summit of June 2000 pointed out that “the democratic, cooperative FRY ... will be
a welcome member of the European family of democratic nations. The European Council
supports the civil society initiatives as well as the democratic forces in Serbia in their struggle to
achieve this goal...”. Earlier in its Joint Declaration expressed on May 17, 1999 on putting into
practice the EU Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe the Council of Ministers of the EU
recognised the prospective membership for all West European countries, four of which (Croatia,
Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia) were transition regimes at that time, the FRY was an autocracy,
provided they met the Copenhagen criteria.
According to the exact expression of British researcher Heather Grabbe. International Herald
Tribune, June 13, 2003.
Following the joint Kohl-Mitterrand address of April 19, 1990, which initiated convening the
Intergovernmental conference on establishing a political union, one should note that “profound
changes in Eastern Europe” encourage “political building of Europe...”. There is no doubt that
further reforming the European Union (the Treaties of Amsterdam and Nice, the elaboration of
the European Constitution) was carried out with the view of its enlargement to the CCEE. Having
this in mind, it seems worth considering the point whether the European Community could
surmount the obstacles on its way of internal reforms without the prospects of enlargement and
admitting new Member States from the East of Europe.
See the Copenhagen Declaration “One Europe” of December 13, 2002 on the occasion of
concluding the accession negotiations by eight CCEE, Cyprus and Malta.
The Preamble to the European Agreement between the EEC and Poland of December 16, 1991
literally says: “Recognizing the fact that the final objective of Poland is to become a member of
the Community and this association, in the view of the Parties, will help to achieve this
In this respect significant is the statement made by Chris Patten who on the occasion of
approving the Communication “The West Balkans and European integration” by the European
Commission on May 21, 2003 pointed out that “the map of the European Union will be
incomplete (italics of the author V.P.) unless the West Balkan countries are marked there”.
The idea of establishing the EU associated member status (in contrast to the existing associated
partnership status) is dwelled upon by the author in his book “The European Union. Institutional
Bases of European Integration”. Kyiv: Smoloskyp, 2002 – pp. 155-156 as well as in the article
“Pour permettre une “plus grande Europe”: plaidoyer pour un statut de membre associé à l’Union
Européenne”, “Lettre du Colisee” (Paris), n° 40, Avril – Mai 2003.
On July 16, 2003 Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma stated that “Ukraine has to forget about
the EU for several decades of years”. These words unique for the leader of a European state
served Leonid Kuchma to acknowledge his own inability to pursue the course of European
integration proclaimed by him in 1996.
See “The Russian Federation Middle Term Strategy Towards the European Union (2000-2010
. / /
Volodymyr Poselskyy, July 2004
The abovementioned Strategy contains the following curious provision (Point 1.6): “Efforts
will continue to be made for … protection of Russia’s legitimate interests while further
expanding the European Union, opposing possible attempts to hamper economic integration in
the CIS, in partucular, through maintaining “special relations” with individuel countries of the
Commonwealth to the detriment of Russia’s interests”.
According to Dominique Moïsi, the deputy Director of the French Institute of International
Affairs (the interview given to the author of the article, June, 2003).
As the calculations of Richard Baldwin and Mika Widgren (2003 р.) show, the suggested
voting scheme provides for as easy adoption of a decision by the EU consisting of 27 Member
States (from technical point of view) as it used to be done in the European Community consisting
of 6 founding States. In general the new voting system increases the political weight of four
biggest countries of the Union, first of all, Germany, and, on the contrary, weakens the position
of those Member States the population of which vary between 3 and 40 million people (first of
all, Spain and Poland). Independently of the results of the ongoing IGC, the shift to the system of
double majority seems inevitable, perhaps with some modification of population-membership
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Created: 17 Sep 2006 – Last modified: 15 Feb 2017