Discrepancies in European Union Pre-accession Evaluations : An Assessment of the European Commission’s Progress Reports

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This study investigated whether EU Progress Reports measured the Copenhagen political criteria in a biased manner compared to independent indices. At stake is the credibility of the EU accession process and whether countries in the Western Balkans will seek partnerships with the EU or state-actors beyond the European peninsula. This is a case study of how well Albania and North Macedonia fared regarding the political criteria during 2014 and 2017. Each country was ranked against one another in order to find potential discrepancies between measurements from Progress Reports and independent indices. This paper did find evidence that suggests the European Commission disfavored North Macedonia and favored Albania. However, other results were inconclusive. The finding supported accession literature that has called into question the objectivity of the EU accession process.

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