Introduction: Prospects for a difficult encounter
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CitationLaGro, P. E., & Jorgensen, K. E. (2007). Introduction: Prospects for a difficult encounter. In P. E. LaGro, K. E. Jorgensen (Eds.), Turkey and the European Union: Prospects for a difficult encounter (pp. 1-10). London: Palgrave Macmillan. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230223035_1
Each successive enlargement of the European Union (EU) signifies a turning point in the history of European integration. While each enlargement accelerates debates on deepening versus widening, specific policy issues, budgetary concerns and the EU politics of conditionality, it is significant that the political context of successive enlargements is highly informative concerning the future of the EU. The 2004 enlargement, with its ten new member states, amounts to a historical dream come true — that is, the unification of Europe. The recent accession of Bulgaria and Romania added to this unification process, and will possibly be followed by one or more of the newly independent states of the former Yugoslavia. However, the ideal of a united Europe aside, the political power play and shifting policy paradigms of the EU member states seem to be moving up on the EU’s political agenda.