2017, Journal of European Public Policy (with T. Böhmelt), online first [»].
The European Union (EU) is said to be tired of enlargement – but how likely is it
that a candidate would be ready to join within 10, 15 or more years? This
research forecasts how prospective members are likely able to perform in
implementing EU law until 2050. Using compliance data of all states from the
2004, 2007 and 2013 accession rounds, as well as of five current/potential
candidates, we construct an empirical model on candidates’ ability to comply
with the acquis communautaire. We employ in-sample and out-of-sample
techniques to ensure high model prediction accuracy and, ultimately, forecast
the five candidates’ potential compliance levels in 2017–2050. Our research
shows that only one candidate might sufficiently be able to comply with the
accession criteria until 2023, while many are unlikely to be ready before the
mid-2030s. Focusing on prediction and forecasting, our contribution is given
by the research’s policy relevance and its methodological innovation.