Transitional Periods as a Flexibility Instrument in the EU Enlargement
AbstractThe text is focused on the analysis of the position of the transitional regimes affiliated to the accession of ten new member states, which is to take place in May 2004, and its impact on the flexibility within the European Union. The text covers the historical development of the phenomenon of transitional measures, overview of the transitional measures negotiated in the current wave of enlargement and specifics of the Czech Republic in the whole process. In the historical perspective, the current transitional periods are to be compared primarily with the transitional regimes in the EU enlargements in the 1980s, in particular with the accession of Spain and Portugal. Typical elements of present transitional periods are the application of the transitional periods in the very essential areas of the European integration, such as agriculture, free movement of workers and free movement of capital. Free movement of goods, in contrast, is influenced in a rather limited way. The transitional periods are internally diversified, both into internal temporal blocks followed by review of the suitability of their continuation and their application only in relation to several old member states. Specific transitional regime is the three-year-long period of enhanced regulatory powers of the European Commission in the area of internal market, and Commission's sanction powers against new member states so as to prevent the non-application of acquis in the area of the internal market and judicial cooperation. Those "horizontal" transitional periods will have - albeit temporarily - significant impact on the growth of the flexibility in the European Union.
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