Membership Conditionality in the European Union

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Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Gary Prevost, Political Science


The all-inclusive United Nations has served as the cornerstone of the international system for over fifty years, and has been looked to as the main forum for conflict resolution and the universal promotion of human rights. The European Union, now emerging as an alternative organization, uses a conditional model for inclusion. In this work, I examined the historical record of relations between the EU and two recent potential members, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey. Specifically, I addressed the EU's accession conditionality surrounding the absence of civil and international conflict, the respect of human rights, and economic viability, and compared the EU's behavior with the accepted scholarly criteria for the effective implementation of conditional structures. My research demonstrates the mixed history the EU has exhibited in giving precedence to either economic or social (conflict and human rights) issues based largely on political forces.