Dr. rer. pol. Oliver Schwarz

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union

Brexit Contagion, Copenhagen Dilemma and Enlargement Fatigue: European Union Membership Policy at the Crossroads (EUMPC)

Start: 1/9/2017
End: 31/8/2020
Project Reference: 587165-EPP-1-2017-1-DE-EPPJMO-MODULE
EU Grant: 30,000 EUR
Programme: Erasmus+
Key Action: Jean Monnet Activities
Action Type: Jean Monnet Academic Modules


Against the background of the Brexit vote, the rise of authoritarianism in Turkey and in times of political and economic crises in the Western Balkans, the EU's membership policy has reached another crossroads. Since its early days in the 1950s, the former six-nation European Coal and Steel Community successively reshaped and expanded to the current EU with its 28 member states. Over recent episodes of enlargement, the EU has established an elaborated framework to ensure that candidate states comply with the acquis communautaire under the Article 49 TEU. However, the EU lacks adequate mechanisms to monitor and influence domestic compliance once countries have become member states. The EU faces a “Copenhagen dilemma” as recent developments in Hungary, Romania and Poland have underlined. With the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the bloc under the Article 50 procedure, it seems an era of uncertainty for both the EU and the UK but also for the candidate countries and potential candidates from Southeast Europe has begun. With all its legal and procedural puzzles and political dilemmas, EU membership policy will be a major and problematic issue, not only in 2017 but also into the medium to long term. Against this background, the Jean Monnet Module examines the EU’s membership policy in a comparative perspective, focusing on the UK’s withdrawal process and its implications for the accession processes of Turkey and the Western Balkans. The objective of the module is to evaluate established theories of European Integration/Europeanisation and their contribution to the study of (dis-) ntegration, to investigate the relationship between Brexit and EU enlargement and to examine how studying the EU’s membership policy can contribute to a better understanding of political systems and regional governance. At the end of this module students will have gained a comprehensive overview of the current scientific and political debates on possible future scenarios of the EU.

More Information