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    STUDIA EUROPAEA - Issue no. 1 / 2014  

Authors:  .
  Abstract:   First, a classification of the international processes of democratic anchoring has been presented: inertial emulation (contagion if spontaneous or convergence if intentional), control (direct by military intervention, or in indirect through arms trade and military assistance), political conditionality (by applying negative sanctions to authoritarian regimes: trade sanctions, cut to economic aid, exclusion from enlargement process) and rewards to democratizing states (democratic assistance, diplomatic pressure, increase of economic assistance). Second, relations between the EU and eastern European candidates to enlargement, through political and economic conditionality, have been analyzed. The outcome of all negotiations was the neutral application of conditionality when the countries entered the EU; some exceptions to neutrality were applied (to Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria) at the beginning of negotiations, because of both strategic and inertial reasons. After 2007, EU enlargement has been linked to the judicial conditionality (in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia); some relevant war criminals had to be arrested to comply with political criteria. Croatia satisfied the EU requests in judicial conditionality and entered the EU in July 2013; negotiations with Serbia started in January 2014. Political conditionality through the reduction of economic aid was applied to some “neighbors”, like the authoritarian Belarus; a more limited decrease of EU aid concerned Russia since the end of the 1990s. EU aid to Georgia and Ukraine increased after the two revolutions of 2004, and to Croatia and Serbia after the electoral defeat of nationalist parties in 2000 (and after the arrest of Mladic). All the other countries with gradual transitions (Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Moldova, Armenia) neither enjoyed rewards, nor suffered sanctions. Democratic assistance was too limited in order to have a relevant political impact. There were external diplomatic pressures in Georgia and Ukraine, but the main cause of the electoral revolutions was the weakness of those states. EU’s external anchorage especially mattered for potential candidates to the enlargement (Serbia and Croatia), while it was weaker for neighbors (like Georgia, Ukraine and Russia), because those ones have never been considered potential candidates. 

Keywords: EU enlargement; democratization process; political conditionality; EU foreign policy, negotiation theory.
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