Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Is Enlargement Dead?

Is Enlargement Dead?



|Views: 254|Likes:
The consensus behind the enlargement of the European Union and NATO is crumbling. The strategic paradigm that guided enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe since the mid 1990s no longer fits today's circumstances. Absent a new narrative and a revised strategy, the historic window for enlarging core Western institutions to new democracies is likely to close. To some degree, the West is of course a victim of its own success. The EU and NATO are also struggling with "enlargement fatigue."
The consensus behind the enlargement of the European Union and NATO is crumbling. The strategic paradigm that guided enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe since the mid 1990s no longer fits today's circumstances. Absent a new narrative and a revised strategy, the historic window for enlarging core Western institutions to new democracies is likely to close. To some degree, the West is of course a victim of its own success. The EU and NATO are also struggling with "enlargement fatigue."

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: German Marshall Fund of the United States on Aug 11, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Foreign Policy and Civil Society Program
The consensus behind the enlargemento the European Union and NATO iscrumbling. The strategic paradigmthat has guided the West’s enlargementto Central and Eastern Europe sincethe mid 1990s no longer ts today’sstrategic circumstances. Absent a newnarrative or urther enlargement anda revised strategy or accomplishingit, the historic window or extend-ing core Western institutions to newdemocracies as part o building a Eu-rope that is unied, ree, and at peaceis likely to close.Today in the West there is still aconsensus that most i not all o thecountries in the western Balkansshould eventually join the EU andNATO i they wish, provided they meet the standards required. Icelandis also considering joining the EU, andit is unlikely to be a controversial can-didate. Nor would Swedish or Finn-ish candidacy or NATO meet withopposition i either country chose thatoption. But there the consensus ends.Prospects or Turkey’s EU candidacy are declining in the ace o publicskepticism in Europe and waningreorm momentum at home. Behindclosed doors, Brussels ocials worry that Turkey’s EU outlook could die viaa hundred mini-cuts that would sap itsstrength, or a sudden crisis that wouldbecome the political equivalent o aheart attack. In private, some Turkishpoliticians say they have already abandoned the goal.O course Turkey’s candidacy precedesthe collapse o communism and theenlargement o the 1990s, and haslong been seen as on a separate track.Nevertheless, i Turkey’s EU candidacy does collapse, it becomes harder toimagine enlargement to other coun-tries in the EU’s Eastern Partnershipthat do not even have a membershipperspective today. For several yearsnow, some analysts have suggested thatthe EU should replace NATO as theleading institution in uture enlarge-ment eorts. That argument was basedon the assumption that the EU today is nally strong enough to assumesuch a role and that EU-led Westernintegration would be less oensive toMoscow. However, it is ar rom clearthat the EU is either willing or able toplay that role. While the integrativepotential o the EU is considerable,bringing that power to bear has beendicult given the internal divisionsin the EU. The current economic andmonetary troubles in the EU only underscore Brussels’ weakness ratherthan its strength. And the globaleconomic downturn has only rein-orced a tendency to look inwardrather than outward.Prospects or NATO enlargement alsoare not bright. In April 2008, in Bucha-rest, the Alliance made its strongest-ever political commitment to the even-tual enlargement o NATO to includeUkraine and Georgia. But that papercommitment masks deep divisions. Theenlargement issue has become a kind o 
by Ronald D. Asmus*
May 10, 2010
1744 R Street NWWashington, DC 20009T 1 202 745 3950F 1 202 265 1662E ino@gmus.org
Summary: The consensus behind the enlargement of the EuropeanUnion and NATO is crumbling. Thestrategic paradigm that guidedenlargement to Central and EasternEurope since the mid 1990s no lon-
ger ts today’s circumstances. Ab
-sent a new narrative and a revisedstrategy, the historic window for en-larging core Western institutions tonew democracies is likely to close.To some degree, the West is of course a victim of its own success.The EU and NATO are also struggling with “enlargement fatigue.”But it would be wrong to attribute the demise of enlargement consen-sus to these factors. The reasons for the current malaise run deeper andrequire a change in policy. If enlargement is not to die, we need anew narrative for why enlargementstill matters and a new strategy
modied to t today’s political and
strategic realities.In our next issue of 
On Wider Europe
.Ivan Krastev will respond with hisviews on “Is Enlargement Dead?”
Ronald D. Asmus is the executive director of the Transatlantic Center for Strategic Planning at the German Marshall Fund of the
United States’ (GMF) Brussels’ ofce.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the
views of German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).
Is Enlargement Dead?
third rail in alliance politics that most countries don’t want totouch. Although the Obama administration has armed itsprincipled support or enlargement, the issue o democraticenlargement in Europe no longer enjoys the centrality it oncehad in U.S. policy. In addition, Berlin and other key Euro-pean allies currently seem quite comortable with the statusquo. Absent U.S. leadership and a new consensus that bridgestheses divides, it is hard to imagine another push or embrac-ing new democracies to the east o the current borders o theEU and NATO.Even the aspirations o candidate countries are less certain.In Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovych has clearly taken hiscountry’s candidacy or NATO o the table. Moldova also seeksneutrality along with EU membership. The prospect o Belarusever wanting to align itsel with the West is remote.In the Southern Caucasus, Georgia still enjoys overwhelmingdomestic support or joining NATO, but the 2008 Russia-Geor-gia War set back its chances or eventual membership. Azer-baijan, having witnessed Moscow’s eorts to thwart Georgia’sNATO ambitions, has become more circumspect in pursuing itsstrategic cooperation with the West. Armenia has always soughta balanced or “multi-vector” policy, given its close ties withMoscow. Apart rom Georgia, there is no country today outsidethe Balkans seriously knocking on NATO’s door.So what happened? Less than a decade ago, enlargement wasthe most successul project o the transatlantic community.To some degree, the West is a victim o that success. Enlarge-ment was in many ways more successul and went urtherthan some ever expected. It anchored the eastern hal o thecontinent and arguably has made Europe more secure thanit has been in over a century. Both the EU and NATO are stillstruggling to adjust to having new members and could also besaid to be suering rom “enlargement atigue.” But it would bewrong to simply attribute the demise o enlargement consensusto past success or atigue. The reasons or the current malaiserun deeper. The paradigm that was developed or integratingCentral and Eastern Europe in the 1990s has been overtaken by new realities. It no longer ts today’s circumstances.It is thereore time or a rethink. The West’s vision and tacticsneed to be revised i they are to regain political and strategictraction. Clinging to the status quo is a losing proposition.While the prospect o an open debate on the uture o enlarge-ment may righten some, it is badly needed. I the concept o enlargement is not to die, its supporters need to develop a newmoral and strategic narrative or why urther enlargementstill matters and how policies should be modied to t today’spolitical realities.
The collapse of the Central and East European paradigm
Any attempt to redene the West’s approach to enlargementmust take into account several key dierences between the1990s and today.The rst is that the West is less cohesive strategically than itwas then. The Sept., 11, 2001, terrorist attacks pulled U.S.attention and resources away rom Europe and toward thewider Middle East and southwest Asia. The reservoir o trans-atlantic goodwill and political capital that had accumulatedduring the 1990s evaporated during the bitter disputes overthe Iraq War. It was not just that enlargement atigue begansetting in as the EU and NATO had to digest the impact o new members on larger and more cumbersome institutions. Itwas that the core transatlantic relationship had actually brokendown, and it has yet to be ully repaired. Although the electiono U.S. President Barack Obama created a chance to repairrelations across the Atlantic, democratic enlargement has thusar been on the back burner, given the United States’ otherpressing priorities in southwest Asia and the Middle East, aswell as its desire to improve relations with Russia.Second, the candidates seeking to go West are dierent today,too. In the 1990s, we were talking about integrating the rela-tively well-developed industrialized countries o Central and
Foreign Policy and Civil Society Program
“The paradigm that was developedor integrating Central and EasternEurope in the 1990s has been over-taken by new realities. . .I the con-cept o enlargement is not to die, itssupporters need to develop a newmoral and strategic narrative or whyurther enlargement still matters andhow policies should be modifed to fttoday’s political realities.”
Foreign Policy and Civil Society Program
Eastern Europe into the West. The perspective o membershipin NATO and the EU proved to be a powerul transormingorce that accelerated and reinorced reorms in these coun-tries. But Ukraine is not simply another Poland, and Georgia isnot Slovenia or Estonia. These countries are poorer, less devel-oped, and have much urther to go. The geographies, histories,economies, and cultures o Eurasia and the Southern Cauca-sus are dierent rom those o Central and Eastern Europe.Their claim to be part o Europe is more tenuous, the perceiveWestern imperative to help less obvious, and the transormativepower o aligning with the West less powerul.The fip side o this is that there is less Western consensus onhow ar enlargement should go—or whether it should go any urther at all. This divide also goes back to the early post-ColdWar years. The moral oundation o post-Cold War enlarge-ment was the theme o a “return to Europe” or newly liberatedcountries that had been articially cut o by the orced partitiono Europe during the Cold War. When political leaders in the1990s talked about a return to Europe as a reason or the EUand NATO to embrace new democracies in the East, no onequestioned that claim by Poland, the Czech Republic, or Roma-nia. Those same arguments do not resonate as well, however,when it comes to countries lying deeper in Eurasia or in theSouthern Caucasus.There was also a latent contradiction between the universal na-ture o the West’s commitment to extending enlargement to any European democracy, on the one hand, and the more limitedoreign policy aims o the dierent countries in question, on theother. The compromise was to udge and leave the policy open-ended. Rightly or wrongly, at the time this was also judged to bethe easiest way to manage Russia’s concerns. Whereas Moscowactually sought to cap enlargement, the West—in particular, theUnited States—opted instead to leave the door to uture NATOmembership wide open—indeed, so open that we could evensay to Moscow that one day a democratic Russia might be ableto walk through it as well.That strategy worked or a decade, right through the successulcompletion o the “big bang” enlargement o 2004 that ullleda vision o the EU and NATO stretching rom the Baltic to theBlack Sea. But then reality caught up with theory. The Roseand Orange revolutions opened the possibility o another waveo democratic enlargement extending into Eurasia and to theSouthern Caucasus. The leaders o those revolutions were inpart inspired by the West’s democratic enlargement, whichincluded the Baltic states which had been part o the ormerUSSR. Yet their push to go West also quickly exposed the ambi-guity in our own thinking, which Ivan Krastev has termed the“strategic schizophrenia” in Western policy toward the post-Soviet space: We talk the talk o universal norms and principles,but in practice we are reluctant to ully embrace them as wereach the post-Soviet space and their implementation becomesmore politically dicult and strategically riskier. Perhaps thebest example o this is the asymmetry in the eort the West waswilling to put into stabilizing the Balkans, as compared to itsattitude toward the Southern Caucasus.The nal and perhaps most important dierence we ace today is, o course, Russia. In the 1990s, we were dealing with a weak,quasi-democratic state that was seeking to become part o theWest. Moscow joined the West in embracing the notion o a new democratic peace at a time when it wanted to shed itsimperial past and join an enlarging Western community. Today,however, these new rules which were supposed to govern Euro-pean security have become a liability in Moscow’s eyes—in partbecause they are seen as acilitating and legitimizing EU andNATO enlargement at Russia’s expense. Now, a more autocraticand nationalist Moscow has embraced its own model o mod-ernization and wants to renegotiate the rules o the game on Eu-ropean security. Rather than seeking to become part o the West,it aims to demarcate itsel rom the West and reclaim a sphereo privileged interest on its borders and in the post-Soviet space.The Russia-Georgia War showed that Moscow is prepared togo quite ar, including using orce, to prevent countries rombreaking out o what it considers its sphere o infuence. Therecent Russia-Ukraine deal on the Black Sea feet demonstratedRussia’s willingness to use sot power and cash to regain infu-ence to achieve the same goal.
The way ahead
The West needs an open debate about the uture o its strategy toward Wider Europe and the countries located between Eu-rope’s eastern borders and Russia. Perhaps the central issue thatneeds to be claried is whether the principles agreed to twenty  years ago in the Charter o Paris continue to provide a compassor policies today. Do we still believe in that document’s visiono a democratic peace, its rejection o zones o infuence, and itsarmation o the right o all countries, big and small, to enjoy equal security and their own alliance orientation? While gov-ernments today pay lip service to these principles, in Europeone also encounters suggestions about returning to notionso limited sovereignty—oten reerred to (inaccurately, in theeyes o this author) as “Finlandization” —as a policy option.Absent a rearmation o its original core principles, the ideao enlargement is dead. And i we want to continue to assertthose principles, how do we pursue them in practice in today’sstrategic circumstances?

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->