BAUEROVÁ, Helena; HLAVÁČKOVÁ, Hana; CABADA, Ladislav. Politika rozšiřování a země Západního Balkánu.

1st ed. Prague: Metropolitan University Prague Press, 2014. 248 s. ISBN 978-80-87956-06-9

The EU enlargement policy is the EU's foreign policy, which has been implemented since the 1970s. The EU expanded from the originally six countries to the current 28 member states. Over the decades, the European Union formalized access conditions and enlargement process is implemented according to the Copenhagen rules that formalized the process in the first half of 1990s. Indeed, in the last decade we observe stricter conditions of accession. The European Union acts with each candidate and potential candidate state separately and uses conditionality as important instrument. This publication focuses on the current form of the enlargement policy, with a focus on the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). Despite the fact that Croatia is an EU member state, we decided to include also this country into the analysis. We use Croatia for comparison, because we believe that after its integration into the EU the Union´s position towards the Western Balkans has changed.

Enlargement process is not sufficiently explained theoretically, so the authors decided to link description and important selected elements of public choice theory and the theory of clubs. As regards the theory, we analyze the enlargement process from three levels of analysis. The first level is the level of European Union, which sets access rules and leads the pre-accession negotiations with the candidate countries. The second level represents the policy of acceding states. We analyze the pre-accession negotiations and the specific elements that determine the relationship to the European Union. Specifically, we focus on the role of political elites, political parties, public opinion and the position of each state within the region of Western Balkans (relations with countries in the region). The third level of analysis presents the position of the member states which decide on the admission of new members. We analyze the cultural, political, economic and other motives that may lead member states to support or block the accession process.

The authors are aware of the weaknesses in the application of public choice theory to the enlargement policy. Therefore, we permit certain simplifications. We perceive the EU as a collective actor, who represents the European interests. We perceive member states as a unit, which may have different motives influencing enlargement policy. In relation to the theory we perceive all actors as rational actors who choose the obvious alternatives (enlarge EU, not enlarge EU, or they have neutral position).

This publication has two main goals. We want to show the current issues of enlargement policy in relation to the countries of the Western Balkans. The second objective is to grab a policy of enlargement by the theory of public choice and the club theory. The present book is therefore not only scientific analysis, but is suitable also for the general public who is interested in EU politics and Western Balkan issues.