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(114) EUROPEAN UNION ENLARGEMENT TO SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

 

 

INSTRUCTOR: Assistant Professor Susannah Verney, University of Athens

The course aims at providing students with an understanding of European Union Enlargement, its implementation inSoutheastern Europeand its consequences both for the region and for European integration.

The first unit of the course (5 weeks) is devoted to exploring the issues and challenges involved in EU Enlargement in general and its application toSoutheastern Europein particular. Students are introduced to the theoretical debates on why and how Enlargement takes place and on Europeanisation as a process of state transformation. They also study Enlargement as a process, with a special emphasis on the nature and evolution of EU membership conditionality. A deeper understanding of the accession process and of how EU conditionality is currently implemented in practice is provided by the annual ‘Enlargement Strategy Seminar’, examining the European Commission’s latest monitoring reports on the individual Enlargement countries (published in October each year). Each student chooses a section of one of the country reports and makes a four-to-five minute presentation. This ‘groundwork’ section of the course is followed by a mid-term test to ensure students have fully grasped the ‘basics’. 

 The second unit of the course offers a deeper investigation of the Southeast European case study. Four lectures covering the region’s relations with European integration, from the Cold War to the present, offer comparative analysis of the Second, Fifth and current (Western Balkans) rounds of Enlargement and the fifty-year history of the Turkish case. Then two thematic seminars scrutinise the role ofSoutheastern Europeas a laboratory for the study of Europeanisation, with particular reference to evaluating the strategy of Enlargement as a project for promoting peace and democratisation. A concluding seminar considers the future of Enlargement toSoutheastern Europeand beyond in an era of economic crisis, euroscepticism and differentiated integration. For the final seminars, each student makes a brief oral presentation of a selected case study which is then submitted as a written term paper. In contrast, the concluding written examination tests students’ understanding of the broader picture and of the general themes and ideas covered in the course.