Europeanisation without Europe? A critical reflection on the Neighbourhood Policy for the Mediterranean

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Series Details No 23, 6 June 2005
Publication Date 2005
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The Neighbourhood Policy is the European Union's (EU) approach to its new geographical borders in the wake of enlargement. This new focus is global in nature and aims to integrate EU foreign policies with its various neighbours under a common and coherent strategic umbrella. In principle, application of the Neighbourhood Policy to Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs) implies a substantial change in the strategy hitherto employed under the Barcelona Process, the institutional framework for relations between MPCs and the EU. The emphasis of the Neighbourhood Policy lies on economic and political conditionality, and on offering incentives to those MPCs who introduce economic and political reforms. At the economic level, the possibility of participating in the Single European Market without becoming a member of the EU at first glance constitutes a strong incentive to reform. This work conceptualises the EU's new approach as the 'Europeanisation' of MPCs as a means of attaining economic and institutional modernisation. From this standpoint, MPCs must adapt their economic institutions and policies to the community acquis in regard to the Internal Market, a process which in literature on European integration is known as 'Europeanisation'. However, a closer look at the challenges and economic premises of the Neighbourhood Policy for MPCs reveals some conceptual flaws in the strategy.

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