The eastern enlargement of the European Union: A unique case for imperialism

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Turkey

Approval Date: 2018




This study analyses the Eastern enlargement of the European Union within the frame of imperialism. For this purpose, the study brings into question the characteristics of the European project, the reasons behind the Eastern enlargement, and the link between globalization, the European integration, and the EU enlargements. In this context, this study argues that the relationship between the EU and the Central and Eastern European countries presents a unique case for imperialism. In other words, the study argues that the Eastern enlargement was a case for the new imperialism. Accordingly, this study mainly focuses on examining this unique characteristic of the new imperialism in the Central and Eastern Europe. The eastern enlargement of the EU has been mostly discussed in the literature regarding the EU as the “return” of the Central and Eastern European countries “to Europe”. In other words, it was argued that the Eastern enlargement provided the return of these countries to democracy and market economy and integration of the west and the east parts of Europe. However, it has more clearly revealed the uneven development in Europe. The European project expanded to the Central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet bloc to restructure the region in line with the requirements of global capitalism. However, the new imperialism in the Central and Eastern Europe has had a unique characteristic by inclusion of these countries in the EU block. The result for these countries has been dependency on the regional market namely the European Single Market.