The Effectiveness of European Union Enlargement Policy and its Limitations: the Case of Serbia
Keywords:Serbia, EU, membership, public opinion, Euroscepticism
AbstractEuroscepticism prevalent in the Member states is also discovered among the candidate countries. Serbia is one of the biggest eurosceptic countries where public support for EU membership has radically dropped over the recent years. Although the process of joining the EU is not called into question by itself, the conditions of membership are not seen as legitimate among majority of citizens. In the light of these facts, the article examines factors, which explain the success of Europeanization. The article indicates that legitimacy of the EU, identification with EU’s values and resonance between the normative approach of the EU and the domestic institutional design in candidate country are essential mechanisms of Europeanization. However, these conditions in Serbia are not dominant due to inconsistency of the EU’s enlargement policy in Serbia. The changing nature of the EU‘s enlargement policy and new requirements have contributed to increasing scepticism among the Serbian public about the worthiness of the EU membership. Moreover, the EU’s conditions contradict with Serbia’s long-term political tradition and institutional practice. In this way, the EU faces with incompatibility of accession conditions and political culture in Serbia. For this reason conditionality is no longer a viable strategy that impacts the attitudes of Serbian society towards the EU. In order to increase the legitimacy of European integration process the EU should embrace and invest more in socialisation measures targeted at the public.