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The European Union’s role in the Republic of Macedonia: A normative perspective

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The European Union’s role in the Republic of Macedonia: A normative perspective

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Samenvatting

This dissertation analyses the relationship between the European Union and Macedonia from a normative approach. Macedonia, a candidate country located in the heart of the Western Balkans, recently faced one of the toughest political crisis in which the EU core norms of the rule of law, fundamental human rights and democracy were at risk. To analyze how this happened, in the face of the European Union’s long-term involvement in this country, the following research question was formulated: How did the relationship between the European Union and the Republic of Macedonia develop during the political crisis in 2015-16, seen through a normative perspective? Consequently, this dissertation is primarily based on qualitative secondary and primary data and starts with the theoretical framework of Normative Power Europe, introduced by Ian Manners in 2002. This conceptualization is applied throughout the entire research focusing on the EU core norms within its enlargement strategy of Macedonia. The relationship between the EU and Macedonia is described, starting from the time the country gained its independence in 1991 until the recent political crisis in 2015-16. Within this period, the dissertation also focuses on the way the EU promotes its norms, including the instruments employed by the EU in Macedonia, leading to an ultimate acceptance of the EU norms in Macedonia. Above all, it becomes clear that the EU is indeed in a strong pursuit of its normative approach, leading to a conclusion that this approach may have been elusive its enlargement strategy of Macedonia until the present day. One may even conclude that the EU’s normative approach in the recent political crisis was ineffective, however it is important to focus on the positive side of the story. Although the EU’s approach was slow and diplomatic, it was strategic and successful in bringing back stability in the country and overturning Nikola Gruevski’s reign after almost a decade in power. Those involved persistently and diligently, focused on the present issue at hand and how to move forward for the benefit of both the EU and Macedonia rather than bringing out the dirty laundry of the politicians involved. Hence, the EU’s normative power changed Macedonia’s perception in such way that the country is able to move forward without any use of military force or coercion.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2018
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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