Democratization vis-à-vis integration

Josifovic, Ivica (2016) Democratization vis-à-vis integration. Knowledge - International Journal, Scientific and Applicative Papers, 15 (2). pp. 777-783. ISSN 1857-92

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At the meeting of the European Council in Copenhagen in June 1993 that determined the criteria for membership in the European Union, democracy was given first mention among the conditions that applicant countries must respect. The priority given to democracy by the European Union leaders reflects the fact that it is considered as a core element of European political identity, and an essential characteristic for countries wishing to be admitted to the EU. The European Union’s insistence on guarantees of democracy on the part of future members is not based on altruism, but rather on self-interest, for it arises from the belief that the process of European integration cannot function with members who do not subscribe to democratic principles or whose practical application of them is inadequate. The aim of the paper, drawing on experience of the past and understanding of the present, is to offer lessons for the future conduct of European Union policy in the region. The Copenhagen criteria represent rules which define whether one country is capable for European Union membership. It is a matter of three basic criteria: political criteria; economic criteria; and legal criteria implying the acceptance of acquis communautaire, capability of undertaking the membership commitments and obligations. The paper aims at elaborating the democratization process of the Balkan states, among others and the Republic of Macedonia, having in mind that all aspire for European Union membership, but faces with internal issues and problems, thus making the democratization process of their societies more difficult. It is considered that the democracy is the first and fundamental precondition for eventual start of negotiation process, respectively should be on high level by the time the accession negotiation decision is given. The paper elaborates the manner in which the European Union and Balkan states are facing the democratization process in order to give one perspective and brighter picture on the Euro-integration approach. Regarding the Republic of Macedonia, in this present context, it is difficult because of the open issues with its neighbors and decision-making process by the European Council regarding the start of negotiations, which on the other side lead to disorder of internal political juncture and set-back in the integration process. Also, a short brief of the political crises in the Republic of Macedonia is given and the (un)successful engagement of the European Union in solving the two-year political crisis At the end of the paper a conclusion is given based on the past experiences and understanding the present, offering lessons learned for future EU policy engagement in the region.
Key words: Democracy, integration, European Union, Republic of Macedonia.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Social Sciences > Law
Divisions: Faculty of Law
Depositing User: Ivica Josifovik
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2017 12:46
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2017 12:46

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