European Union Publications

343. Bulgaria's First Year in the European Union: Progress, Problems and Pessimism

Jul 07, 2011
December 2007 - Western attention in Southeastern Europe is focused on Kosovo, Bosnia and the surrounding Western Balkans. But, I ask that some attention also be paid to neighboring Bulgaria. This core state of the historical Ottoman Balkans is completing its first year as a member of the European Union and its fourth year as a member of NATO. I resist the temptation of dwelling on how unlikely this prospect seemed when I first went to Sofia as a young Foreign Service Officer some 40 years ago. Now, with the same special interest in wider economic prospects and the same domestic pessimism about its own political process that has repeatedly surfaced over the past century, Bulgarians should nonetheless be looking back with satisfaction on their initial year as a full member of the largest common organization in European history. On a personal level, a Bulgarian friend traveling to Italy welcomed the smile and a wave that replaced a scowl and a Schengen visa check at the Rome airport. Some 60 percent of Bulgaria's foreign trade is now with the EU, and as a new member, it is expecting 11 billion euros of adjustment assistance over the next six years. But before turning to the clouds that I found gathering over Sofia, let me first address the silver lining. more

"NATO and Europe in the 21st Century: New Roles for a Changing Partnership"

Jul 07, 2011
July 2000 Conference Report - The Wilson Center's East European Studies and West European Studies programs organized this day-long conference on April 19, 2000. The conference conducted a comprehensive examination of the NATO-Europe partnership and its future prospects, as well as an analysis of the implications of the Bosnian and Kosovo wars for NATO and for the new and aspiring members of the NATO alliance and the European Union (EU). The goal of the conference was to provide a comprehensive view of the West's key integrative institutions, NATO and the EU, as well as a clear summary of the evolving security picture in Europe and of America's future role in an ever-evolving NATO. more

289. America's New Friends in the East: Does EU and NATO Expansion Promise to Re-energize the Transatlantic Alliance?

Jul 07, 2011
December 2003 - When France and Germany announce their nominations for "Man of the Year 2003" it is a safe bet that Donald Rumsfeld will not make the shortlist. The US Defense Secretary's pointed reference to the Franco-German axis against the war in Iraq as being merely representative of "old Europe" compared with a new, more pro-American Europe emerging with the accession of eight formerly communist countries to the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004, cranked up the tension in Transatlantic relations to levels not seen for decades. Americans were already well aware of Rumsfeld's talent for stirring controversy. Now it was Europe's turn. And France and Germany rose dutifully to take his bait. But why, we need to ask, were they so easily angered? Was Rumsfeld right after all? more

214. European Integration: Who's In, Who's Out, Who Sits and Waits?

Jul 07, 2011
One of the most critical and complex issues in U.S. foreign policy is the expansion of NATO and the European Union into Central and Eastern Europe. Even the terms are controversial - for example, "Central" versus "Eastern" Europe and who and what are encompassed in these categories. The issues are important, not just to the countries involved but to the future of Europe, U.S.-European relations, to say nothing of U.S.-Russian relations. Based upon on-site observations, interviews and research materials gathered during a recent visit to the area, the author offers some predictions on the future course of European integration as it presently looks. more

355. Do Markets Punish EU Backsliders? The Role of Enforcement

Jul 07, 2011
November 2008 - Scholars of international institutions have long praised the ability of international organizations such as the European Union (EU) to promote cooperative behavior, stability and the rule of law. Implicit in that praise is the idea that the EU closely monitors member states' behavior and punishes those that break the rules. In practice, however, the EU rarely enforces its own rules, restricting itself for the most part to strongly worded statements, taking states to court for non-compliance with directives, and only occasional formal punishment. Indeed, the EU's freezing of structural funds to Bulgaria this past summer, due to the country's lack of progress on anticorruption measures, was one of the rare examples of Brussels making good on its threats to rein in its members' behavior: so much for the rule of law, in practice. more

284. Military Capabilities of the Central Europeans: What Can They Contribute to the Stabilization of Iraq?

Jul 07, 2011
Among the three new NATO allies, only Poland has both the potential and the political will to meaningfully contribute to the stabilization mission in Iraq. In comparison, the Hungarian and Czech contributions have been and will likely remain small, limited to the symbolic troop deployment to the Polish and British zones, the continued access to Hungarian air space and the deployment of the Czech hospital assigned to the operation. Unlike the Hungarian and Czech governments, where support for US policy in Iraq has been quite tenuous, Poland has consistently backed the US position on Iraq despite increased friction with Germany—its core European partner. The Polish government has also been willing to back its political support with a substantial military contribution. Arguably, Poland has promised to deploy and command forces abroad that exceed the country's actual military capacity. more

344. Macedonia and its Hurdles on the Road to the European Union

Jul 07, 2011
January 2008 - The integration of Macedonia into the European Union and NATO becomes a more complex issue every day. The reasons behind this complexity can be found both within Macedonia and outside its borders. However, at this moment the chief issue seems to be the fact that EU member states—vigilantly protecting their own interests first—tend to disagree on many issues related to Macedonia's readiness to accede to the EU. This has significantly slowed down the process of reaching an agreement on Macedonia's swift integration into the European Union. more

280. The European Union, the Balkans and Turkey: Can "Soft Power" Bring Stability and Democracy

Jul 07, 2011
October 2003 - The European Union (EU) is widely recognized as the international actor with the most potential influence in promoting ethnic reconciliation, shoring up democracy and supporting the economic revitalization of the Balkans. The EU's influence is immediate—providing humanitarian aid, economic assistance, market access and political support. It is also long-term—shaping the tenor of domestic politics by offering the prospect of EU membership. The prospect of EU membership may be more diffuse, but it is ultimately more powerful. It provides substantial and consistent incentives for political moderation and reform on the part of elites in the Balkans and also in Turkey. The World Bank's 2001 report noted that its strategy for the region is "built upon the assumption that a credible commitment to integration with European and global structures, especially the European Union, is a critical ingredient of success, as it will serve as an external driver of reform and intra-regional integration." more

342. Greece, the Western Balkans and the European Union

Jul 07, 2011
November 2007 - The Wilson Center's East European Studies program, in cooperation with the American College of Thessaloniki, the University division of Anatolia College, held a workshop November 30-December 1, 2007, which aimed at trouble-shooting the complex process of European integration of the Western Balkans. This meeting was sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Discussions built upon the dual premise that EU accession holds the best hope for overcoming stagnation in the Western Balkans and that the traditional enlargement process is not working in the region. The US, the EU and neighboring countries, such as Greece, certainly have much to contribute in reinvigorating this process, and coordinating their policies seems to be of paramount importance. more

276. EU Enlargement: Implications for US Trade and International Financial Policies

Jul 07, 2011
EU Enlargement, now scheduled to take place in May 2004, will involve the addition of ten states: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. I will highlight the potential benefits of enlargement as well as the possible areas of contention between the EU and US stemming from the enlargement process. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.