The European Union and human rights
Historical outlook and analytical frameworks
in Children’s rights, Eastern enlargement and the EU human rights regime
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This provides an overview of the historical background to the EU’s involvement with human rights and, at the same time, it fleshes out the main analytical frameworks employed in this book to explain the feedback processes. The Europeanization East analytical perspective describes how the EU, mostly the Commission, transformed candidate states’ institutions and policies during the EU accession negotiations. It is argued that the EU ‘Europeanized’candidate countries with respect to those conditions which involved the transposition of the already existing EU set of laws and rules – the acquis communautaire - at the national level. Yet, given that there is no EU acquis with respect to most human rights matters, the EU exported a human rights EU-topia (Nicolaidis and Howse 2002) to non-EU countries with regard to those human rights issues where the EU has limited internal mandate and has no EU acquis communautaire. The feedback effects triggered by this intervention are conceptualised as conducive to policy development (via policy entrepreneurship and agenda-setting) in EU internal policy sphere and to policy continuation (in line with historical institutionalism) in EU enlargement policy.

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