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The Newer Member: Bulgaria in the European Union

by Victor Bojkov

This paper was written in February 2007.

Unlike the one of 2004, the most recent EU enlargement is not expected to cause a significant stir, either in terms of the decision-making process or in terms of immigration numbers moving towards Western European job markets. It, however, poses several challenges of a different kind. In the first place, the rigour of EU membership conditionality has been somewhat compromised by the need to honour earlier commitments and account for political realities.

Bulgaria and Romania set a precedent among the new entrants in the sense that they will still be subject tomonitoring and evaluation with the threat of the Unionactivating certain ‘safeguard clauses’. This may understandably provoke reluctance on the part of the Union leadership to extend the same political commitments to the remaining candidates or potential candidates. Another important consequence: the far-right EU political space has become more numerous as both new members have such parties in their national Parliaments.

The article analyses these new realities.

Paper's framework

  • The Background
  • Pre-Accession Efforts
  • Bulgaria as Member State
  • Useful literature on the subject

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