EU Criminal Law and Enlargement

Lazowski, A. (2016) EU Criminal Law and Enlargement. In: Research Handbook on EU Criminal Law. Edward Elgar, pp. 507-531. ISBN 9781783473304

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Since creation of the European Communities the number of Member States has gradually increased from the original six to current twenty-eight. Enlargement has become an EU’s flagship external policy, demonstrating the EU’s ability to shape its neighbourhood and to serve as a catalyst of deep and multilayered reforms. The consecutive seven enlargement rounds went in parallel with widespread internal developments, culminating with the creation of the European Union and, most recently, entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. As this volume demonstrates, EU criminal law has evolved considerably from its early days under the legal framework laid down by the Treaty of Maastricht to its current post-Lisbon shape. On 1 December 2014, that is with expiry of a five year transitional regime for the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice, Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters became a fully fledged EU policy, governed largely by the same modus operandi as other areas of EU competence and with compulsory jurisdiction of the Court of Justice. As EU criminal law developed internally, so did its external dimension, including the role it plays in the enlargement policy. In case of the latter the expiry of the same transitional period has brought to an end a rather anomalous situation whereby the European Union had more enforcement tools before and after accession vis-à-vis its future/new Member States than it could employ against the old ones. This bifurcation, quite rightly, triggered a lot of discussions about double standards used by the European Union in its pre-accession policy. This is exacerbated by the fact that some of those standards are neither defined in EU law, nor pursued vis-à-vis the existing EU’s Member States. The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that evolution with particular emphasis on the role of EU Criminal Law in the policy currently employed by the European Union vis-à-vis candidate and potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans and to Turkey. Arguably, together with political conditionality, it has become one of the pillars of the enlargement process and, as the examples of accession negotiations with Montenegro and Serbia prove, its role is likely to increase as rapprochement of other candidates and potential candidates progresses to the next stages.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: University of Westminster > Westminster Law School
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Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 13:31
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2016 14:52

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