A reaction to the French “non”? Or a case of institutional bricolage?

A discursive institutionalist approach to the revised EU enlargement methodology
By Michel Vincent Anderlini

How has the European Commission designed its new enlargement methodology in times of enlargement fatigue? Several studies have pointed out the French opposition to launching accession negotiation with North Macedonia and Albania in 2019 as a significant factor explaining the content of the new methodology. Traditionally, enlargement policy has been seen through the lenses of rational choice institutionalism: from this perspective, the new methodology would be resulting from such an external shock. This paper argues instead, using the discursive institutionalism framework and the concept of institutional bricolage, that the new methodology is the product of four different discourses on enlargement layered on top of each other.

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