EU Enlargement - European Union Studies Center

The Process of EU Enlargement:
Integration or Disintegration?
Dr Michael J. Geary
Assistant Professor, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Global Fellow, The Wilson Center, Washington, DC
The European Union Studies Center
The Graduate Center
The City University of New York
21 March 2014
Enlargement and the Process of EU Integration:
Structure of the Workshop
1. Origins of the application, motivations and expectations
2. A painful birth – the first enlargement (1961-73)
3. From Athens to Brussels – the second accession (1970s to 1981)
4. Club Med – Spain and Portugal and the third enlargement (1986)
5. Round Four: Austria, Sweden and Finland (1990s)
6. The Big Bang: 10+3
6. Conclusions
Michael J. Geary
Origins of the application, motivations and expectations
 Enlargement not easily explained
 The Treaty of Rome – Art. 237 made provision for membership
 Art. 238 provided for associate membership
 Policy and Institutional Framework appealed to some
 Leadership in Europe attracted others
Michael J. Geary
A Painful Birth – The First Enlargement, 1961-73
 Free Trade Area, 1956-58
 European Free Trade Association,
 1960: Europe of 6s and 7s
 A question of (bad) timing?
Michael J. Geary
Britain and Tortuous Road to Europe
‘We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not compromised.
We are interested and associated, but not absorbed … we belong to no single
Continent, but to all.’ Winston Churchill, House of Commons speech, 1930
‘The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and whether we like it or not,
this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact,
and our national policies must take account of it.’, Harold Macmillan, 3 Feb. 1960
Harold Macmillan,
British Prime Minister, 1957-63
Michael J. Geary
Britain and Tortuous Road to Europe
From laggard to leader of an enlarged ‘core Europe’? – Wolfram Kaiser
Letter of Application, August 1961
Enlargement negotiations open, Autumn, 1961 – January 1963
Negotiating an empire?
De Gaulle’s idea of Europe
‘If England asks in turn to enter, but on her own conditions, this poses without doubt
to each of the six States, and poses to England, problems of a very great dimension.
England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her exchanges, her markets,
her supply lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she pursues
essentially industrial and commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones. She has in
all her doings very marked and very original habits and traditions.’ CDG, 14 January 1963
The will of the General but not the general will
Michael J. Geary
Britain and Tortuous Road to Europe
Second try – Harold Wilson and the Labour Govt.
May 1967: application and veto in same week
De Gaulle’s velvet veto, 16 May 1967 – British economy would destabilise the EEC
Pound Sterling devalued Nov. 1967
De Gaulle – I told you so!
Repeats veto 27 Nov.
Apr. 1969 – De Gaulle’s resigns as
President the French Fifth Republic
Georges Pompidou succeeds
More flexible on enlargement
Michael J. Geary
Britain and Tortuous Road to Europe
 Summer 1970 – Enlargement negotiations open
 New Conservative Govt. led by Edward Heath
 Britain’s contribution to the Community budget
Expectations, disappointments
and structural ambivalence
Post-accession: gap between
expectations of benefits and the reality
of the integration experience
Pursued erratic European policies
Marginalised Britain even more
Heath signs the Treaty of Accession,
22 Jan. 1972
Michael J. Geary
Ireland – The Economics of Community Membership
The decision to enter: The apron strings of Britain or the purse strings of Europe?
Common Agricultural Fund
Structural Policy
Michael J. Geary
Ireland – The Economics of Community Membership
July 1961 - first application
 No formal negotiations open
 Questions over Irish suitability for membership – neutrality/NATO
 De Gaulle’s veto also excludes Ireland
May 1967 – second application
 The General’s second ‘non’
 Irish eyes not smiling
Summer 1970 – negotiations open
 Challenging the Acquis: Common Fisheries Policy
 Plenty of fish in the sea?
We’re in!
Referendum on 10 May 1972
1.2 million voted, just over 1m said ‘Yes’
Signing the Treaty of Accession
22 Jan. 1972
Michael J. Geary
Denmark – divided opinion
 Member of the EFTA – Britain was Denmark’s main trading partner
 Follows the same path to membership – the same setbacks
 After 1955, Denmark opted for Nordic trade over ECSC – steel market was more important
 Late 1950s, early 1960s – close relations with France and West Germany and Commission
 Sitting on the fence: Split between EFTA and EEC
 Follow the leader – Denmark applies for membership of EEC in Aug. 1961
 Despite veto – CDG wanted Denmark to join
1970 -72 enlargement talks
Few problems – motivation was to gain access to new markets for swelling exports
Norwegian vote 25 Sept. 1972, 53% said ‘No’
Referendum on 2 Oct. – 63.3% voted ‘Yes’ (turnout was 90.1%)
Michael J. Geary
Round Two –
Fast-Track Membership: Greece
 The first enlargement: success or setback for integration process?
 British renegotiation and referendum on membership, 1974-5
 Oil crises and economic stagnation of 1970s
 Greece – the tenth member of the Community in 1981
 Economically classified in category of a poor, agrarian, raw-material-extracting,
trade-dependent, and externally indebted nation
In short: under-developed
History of modern Greece – continuous trends of foreign intervention & interference
by competing Great Powers
 1974 – application for membership, mainly for political reasons
 Paramount for achieving political stability
Michael J. Geary
Round Two –
Fast-Track Membership: Greece
 The application should be interpreted primarily as a security policy decision
 The negotiations – not a smooth process
 Formal talks: 27 July 1976 – 23 May 1979
 Commission’s Avis (Opinion) on Greek membership – lukewarm statement
 Prospect of accession met with considerable scepticism
 Commission proposed a ‘pre-accession stage’ to precede any transitional period
 The Community could become a party to the ‘Aegean Cold War’
 Economic considerations were subordinated to political ones
 Economic implications of accession were never considered seriously
Globalisation of enlargement – Spain and Portugal
Michael J. Geary
Club Med – The Third Enlargement
Hans Dietrich Genscher, German Foreign Minister: ‘The democracies of Europe are expecting
Spain as a partner … That is why the Federal Government is keen on paving the way for Spain to
become a full member of Europe.’ (10 Jan. 1976)
End of dictatorship – General Francisco Franco dies 20 Nov. 1975 – restoration of
the monarchy (Juan Carlos I)
 Transition process towards democracy launched – relations with EC restored
 Spaniards determined to gain membership – July 1976, declaration of intent
Large scale support in Spain for accession
 Constitution of 1978 – a ‘social and democratic state’ where the
rule of law was guaranteed
Britain (1977): Enlargement was an investment in Europe’s democratic future
 July 1977 – formal application made for membership
Michael J. Geary
Club Med – The Third Enlargement
French scepticism
 Spain – a shock for Europe: political & economic shock for the Common Market
 PM Jacques Chirac, Spanish accession ‘unbearable’ for French agriculture
 Exclude Spain from CAP and simply negotiate an association treaty with EC
 By 1978, three applications on Community’s table – Southern enlargement
seemed irreversible
Positive assessment from the Commission (Nov. ’78) – exemplary political transition
 Giscard D’Estaing raised serious objections (June ’80): conscious of agriculture vote
 Member States had to solve internal issues before further enlargement took place
Common Agricultural Policy & Community budget had to be revised first
 Shift in position – Spanish economic threat was taking shape between 1978-80
 François Mitterrand reiterated same objections – resolve old problems first
 June 1982 – application came to a halt … kick-started again in 1983
Michael J. Geary
Club Med – The Third Enlargement
Portugal – the end of empire and move to Europe
 Dictatorship under Salazar and decolonisation
 International acceptance after World War Two
Founding member of NATO, member of OEEC, European Payments Union &
recipient of Marshall aid
 Pre-accession vision of Portugal: an Atlantic country, maritime power,
colonial empire in Africa. Not concerned with Continental European issues
Collapse of the dictatorship, military coup d'état 25 April 1974
Independence of Guinea, Angola and Mozambique (1974, ‘75)
EC support – for pluralist democracy!
Portugal’s formal application for membership, March 1977 – 7 years to conclude
Michael J. Geary
Round Four: Austria, Finland, and Sweden (1990s)
 1955 Constitutional Article: ‘Austria declares of her own free will her perpetual neutrality’
 And ‘in all future times Austria will not join any military alliances and will not permit the
establishment of any foreign military bases on her territory’
 Non-Alignment and Russian influence
 1990s – geo-political climate changes
Finland – a fundamental turning point in its history
A cautious ‘wait and see’ approach during Cold War
One eye on the West, the other on the East
Swedish application 1991 – a shock to Finland
The imperative to join the EU was increased
Issue of neutrality, Maastricht and CFSP
Michael J. Geary
Round Four: Austria, Finland, and Sweden (1990s)
 Traditional policy of non-alignment with ability to play international role
 Founding member of OEEC & Council of Europe
 Aversion to integration/supranational institutions but open to free trade
 Yet, enlargements had increased importance of EC by mid-1980s
 Renegotiate EFTA-EC agreements → collapse of the Soviet Union
 Membership as an economic imperative by 1990
 1 July 1991 – application for EC membership
Michael J. Geary
The Big-Bang Enlargement (+3)
1990s – a decade of transformation
Fall of the Berlin Wall and German Re-unification
Collapse of the Soviet Union
CEE Membership Requests
Treaty Reform
Enlargement and the Copenhagen Criteria (1993)
Michael J. Geary
The Big-Bang Enlargement (+3)
Maastricht Treaty: 3 Pillars
The European Union is born
Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
Amsterdam (1998)
Nice (2001)
Constitutional Treaty (2005) – R.I.P.
Lisbon (2009)
Michael J. Geary
The Big-Bang Enlargement (+3)
 Central and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and Malta (2004), Romania, Bulgaria (2007) and Croatia
 Too many too soon? Free Movement Directive
 In the Waiting Room: Turkey
 Serbia, Kosovo, Scotland, Catalonia ….
 Exits? Will Britain Leave?
Michael J. Geary
Enlargement: Integration or Disintegration?
Explaining Enlargement: Integration theory – one size does not fit all
Complex set of explanations for each enlargement
The ability to opt in/out – does it weaken the integration process?
Once countries join, why are they treated differently?
Enlargement and institutional change – increased role for the Commission?
Michael J. Geary
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