Contemporary Southeastern Europe
The Politics of EU Enlargement Revisited - What conditions matter in the case of the EU’s South-Eastern enlargement?
There are considerable variations in the pace and speed of EU’s South-Eastern enlargement. Bulgaria and Romania joined European Union (EU) in 2007, Croatia became the 28th member-state only in July 2013 while the rest of the South-East European (SEE) countries are facing uncertainty about the time they will join the Union. The article revisits the previous debate on EU enlargement politics with the aim to uncover necessary and sufficient conditions that matter in the case of EU enlargement in South-East Europe. Our qualitative comparative analysis shows that having a liberal democracy as well as pro-enlargement EU member-states are both necessary conditions, if joined with the applicant’s achievement of the condition of a functional market economy and effective administrative capacities, can sufficiently derive into EU accession.