How does the European Union's political conditionality induce compliance? Insights from Turkey and Romania.
Author: Beken Saatcioglu
Format: NOOK Study eTextbook
How does the European Union (EU)'s political membership conditionality induce compliance? Formally launched at the EU's 1993 Copenhagen Summit, conditionality requires EU candidates to adopt the political criteria known as "stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities".;To answer this question, the dissertation studies two cases, Turkey and Romania, in the period between 1993 and 2005. During those years, both countries' governments adopted democratizing laws to fulfill the EU's political membership conditions. I argue that EU conditionality induced compliance in Turkey and Romania not because it was credible to Turkish and Romanian governments (as argued in the literature) but because it was credible to publics. Publics in both Turkey and Romania believed that democratization was essential for their country's EU accession. This increased the popularity of compliance and hence lowered ruling parties' political costs of compliance, which in turn led to the legal adoption of the political criteria.;The argument relies on two specific findings, the first of which is generated by the coding analysis of the two variables of conditionality and compliance. First, EU conditionality was not credible to political actors in either Turkey or Romania because the EU applied it inconsistently. In addition to raising criteria not subsumed under the official political conditions (Turkey), it offered pre-accession incentives (i.e. EU candidacy, start and completion of membership negotiations) in the absence of sufficient political compliance (Romania). This lowered the credibility of democratic compliance as a membership condition for Turkish and Romanian politicians.;Second, because they are less knowledgeable than political actors about these inconsistencies in conditionality, Turkish and Romanian publics generally believed in the EU's official rhetoric of membership conditional on democratization. When the EU offered Turkey candidacy status and invited Romania to begin membership negotiations in 1999, this signaled a proximate membership prospect to publics and increased public belief in the necessity of compliance. Indeed, in both cases, the majority of democratizing legislation demanded by the EU was adopted after this date.