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Title: How does the growing number of small states affect the future developments of the European Union
Author: Lee, Moosung
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2005
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The beginning of the twenty-first century will witness an unprecedented expansion of the European Union, with ten new members joining in 2004 and more seeking to follow. Compared to past expansions, the current and forthcoming enlargements possess a number of sui generis characteristics. Of these, it is noticeable that a majority of new member countries are small. In addition, the economic, political and historical backgrounds of new small member states are very different from those of the current EU membership. In this context, there is a conventional wisdom that the accession of a large number of new small member states has the potential to create challenges to the future development of the enlarged EU. These challenges will be manifested in the decision-making process of the EU, the implementation of a wide range of its policies, and the governance of its institutions. However, this thesis will attempt to argue that this conventional view may not necessarily be correct. Thus, focusing on new small member countries, this thesis will identify, isolate and analyse the implications of their accession for the future development of the EU. The likely economic effects will first be addressed from two perspectives. The regional policy of the EU and its CAP will be examined in order to make sense of the immediate economic impact and, then, in order to take a more comprehensive view, three other areas - the internal market, monetary union and trade policy - will also be included in this study. While the main business of the EU remains predominantly in the economic sphere, nevertheless, there are a number of non-economic issues that also require our attention. This is primarily due to the argument that these are areas where challenges are also expected as a result of the accession of a large number of new small member states. We will thus focus on the future development of the CFSP and the future governance of EU institutions. This research will apply an (implied) model of small states' behaviour and reactions to specific situations namely, various aspects of EU policy-making, the implementation of its policies and the governance of its institutions. The model will be built on the basis of the general and distinctive characteristics of small states, and has served to identify the possible implications for the future integration process of the EU. The theoretical framework will be built by adopting intergovernmentalism as the core theory, but other integration theories will also be referred to with a view to complementing this core theory with some refinements. With this in mind, this study will develop the contention that the current and upcoming enlargements which embrace a large number of new small member states should not necessarily be viewed as negative to the future development of the EU, as the conventional wisdom presumes. This is because taking full account of the position of new small state members, and their likely behaviour within the environment which EU membership imposes upon them, leads to the conclusion that the conventional view is not the only possible outcome.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available