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How Closely Does the European Union's Membership Conditionality Reflect the Copenhagen Criteria? Insights from Turkey

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Research on the EU's membership conditionality focuses more on conditionality's domestic impacts than on conditionality itself. The question of how consistently the EU seeks the Copenhagen criteria prior to offering membership is rarely investigated. To fill this gap, this article studies conditionality regarding Turkey, arguing that true conditionality should exclusively link EU demands for compliance with the formal membership criteria to rewards in the accession process. In coding the EU's conditionality signals for “exclusiveness of linkage,” low formal conditionality in Turkey was found. It is concluded that the EU's anticipated costs of “absorbing” Turkey caused its unwillingness to deploy proper formal conditionality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: KFG Research College, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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