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The Concept of Europeanization – Differences between EU Members and Accession Candidates

Presentation of Sarah Seeger at the University of Ankara

28.04.2008 · C·A·P

The research on Europeanization embarked in the mid-1990ies. In contrast to earlier studies which focused on the reasons and mechanisms of integration, i.e. the process of pooling national sovereignty and creating institutions at supranational level, the concept of Europeanization shifted the focus back to the nation states and tried to explore how Europe matters at the domestic level. The influence of EU primary and secondary law as well as informal institutions on polities, policies and politics of member states as well as the creation of new opportunity structures and constraints have been in the centre of the studies.

However, even if Europeanization as an analytical tool has been developed since more then ten years now, it is still characterized by a certain vagueness. Therefore, the workshop "Experiencing Europeanization" at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara on April 24, 2008 organized by CES-METU aimed at shedding light on the concept. In a comparative approach, Europeanization was analyzed from different angles both in EU member states and in accession candidates.

Many of the findings of the general Europeanization literature can also be applied to accession candidates, yet there are some crucial differences as Sarah Seeger, research fellow at the Center for Applied Policy Research, elaborated in her presentation. She pointed out that the differences mainly result from asymmetric relations and resources between the EU and the accession candidates, from the conditionality approach the EU is taking towards the accession candidates as well as from the relevance of speed, time, and timing of Europeanization processes in candidate countries.

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