The Security Dimensions of European Union Enlargement

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The European Union draws its origin from two communities. These are the European Coal and Steel Community of 1951 and the European Economic Community of 1958 (O'Brennan, 2006). These two were formed by the unions six founding countries. They include Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands (Melnikas, 2015). In the past years, the communities, as well as its successors have grown substantially in size (Hursoy, 2010). This has been brought about by the accession of new member states and the addition of policies in needy areas (Wolff, 2012). The European Union established its name under the Maastricht Treaty of 1993 when European citizenship was also introduced (Kaunert, Leonard, & Occhipinti, 2013). The latest addition to its list of major treaties is the Treaty of Lisbon that was signed in 2009.

The EU has built up a role in peripheral relations and security. This has been done through the enforcement of foreign and national security policy (Lavallee, 2011). It has thereby been able to sustain permanent diplomatic relations through other world powers such as the G8, the G-20, and the United Nations (Wolff, 2012). It is the affiliations that have made many people brand it the current and potential superpower. This is, however, not what it aims for. It alternatively persists in pursuing its goal of ensuring the European (Partizek, 2012) Security and Defense Policy is operational and the best. Improving the unions military capacity has long been moderate (Kostovicova, 2014). On the other hand, organizational and procedural achievements have essentially become key.

Slow military advancement in the union has been harbored by the lack of answers in regards to the questions of what the exact needs of the union in the defense sector are. European Unions access to NATO assets was restricted until 2002 when diplomatic relations between the two were improved (Wolff, S). In the same year, however, the unions forces could not be deployed to manage crisis works. It was only until 1 January when EU made a breakthrough in its serving the civilians docket (Kienzle, 2014). It made outstanding progress with the launch of a police mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Mocanu, 2013). Nevertheless, prospects of an increase in military expenditure are still slim. Due to this, other options, both national and multinational are being pursued to address the problem of capital shortfalls.

The creation of the European Capabilities Plan in May 2003, for example, has proven to be of assistance (Jones & Clark, 2013). It has given a boost to flexibility and coordination in member states. Another prominent idea that has been receiving lots of approval is the one involving establishing an intergovernmental defense system capability that may lead to the generation of a secure procurement program. This plan has received support from states even in the G-20 such as France, Germany, and the UK (Demirag, 2014). If this plan prospers, it would be easy for the union to gain freedom from the troublesome ban on using its financial reserves for defense principles (Keukeleire & Raube, 2013).

As of 2002, the major obstacles involving the launch of an operational first emergency management system had been trounced (Papagianni, 2013). In May 2004, it also underwent challenges involving weak political capacities, which are a major problem to date (Gebhard, 2013). This can however not be compared to its current problems and its next major enlargement. These confronts will need cautious examination and proper decisions where the Foreign and National Security Policy and the ESDP are involved (Grabbe, 2014). This can only be successful if executed during the start to and after completion of enlargement.

Reference

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