INSTRUCTOR: Associate Professor Susannah Verney, University of Athens

Course Description

Official documents have long described Enlargement as the European Union’s most successful policy, extending an area of peace and democracy across the continent. In Southeastern Europe, a region marked by the legacy of authoritarianism and the wars of the 1990s, this self-proclaimed transformation project has met its greatest challenge to date. From the EU side, the integration of Southeastern Europe has significant implications for the further development of the European project and its democratic legitimacy. Meanwhile, for the states of Southeastern Europe (SEE), membership of the European Union (EU), whether as a goal or a reality, has become a central focus with a deep-reaching impact on domestic institutions, politics and policies. In the first part of the course, students are introduced to theoretical debates on how and why EU Enlargement takes place and on Europeanisation as a process of reshaping the state. They also study Enlargement as a process, including the nature and evolution of membership conditionality. The second part of the course offers a deeper investigation of the Southeast European case study, examining the EU’s engagement with the region from the divisions of the Cold War era to the present mosaic of differentiated integration. A central theme concerns the role of the region as a laboratory for the study of Europeanisation and a strong test of the EU’s capability of living up to its preferred image as a peace and democratisation project.