Type of Thesis
Integration of the European Union over the years has continued to be debated, with many theories attempting to explain how the Union has consistently become ever closer. While many theories focus on the role of the individual member states or, on the other hand, the role of the Union’s institutions in driving forward integration, fewer consider the impact of widening, which entails adding more countries to the EU through enlargements. Since the first enlargement in 1973, the EU has grown from six members to its current twenty-eight. Meanwhile, it has transformed from a small community with specific economic purposes to a union of countries that work together in numerous sectors and delegate sovereignty to supranational institutions. I explore the potential connection between enlargement of the Union and deeper integration. While it can be difficult to pinpoint all instances where the addition of new countries led to further integration, my investigation highlights situations in which the relationship holds true. In response to challenges presented by the inclusion of new member states, the Union implements policy reforms or institutional changes. I reveal cases in which the accession of new members prompted institutional or policy changes, thus revealing that widening can act as a cause for deepening.
Smyrnios, Angelica, "Integration in the European Union: Does Widening Make Deepening?" (2019). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 1996.