Although Bulgarian has implemented significant institutional changes, it still must overcome its past and some important domestic hurdles. This research paper will explore the accession of Bulgaria into the ranks of the European Union through an analysis of the process, as well as the challenges this country faces within the EU framework. This is important, not only for Bulgaria and current EU member states but also for future EU enlargement. Accordingly, accelerated Europeanisation will be discussed with reference to the Bulgarian case in the European Union (Richardson 2001, p. 44; Nugent 2003, 23-33; see Warleigh 2004).
The EU is a supranational body composed of constituent member states, found largely on the European peninsula. Democracy, negotiation, and collective decision-making through multilateralism are all inherent attributes of the modern EU. As a multinational organization, the EU represents various national interests within an overarching political framework. The EU is an international organization which operates on the basis of negotiation between member states and relies on collective decision-making to achieve its ends. ...
Although there were initially only five members of the precursor to the European Union (Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and West Germany), there are presently 27 countries in the EU and they are, in alphabetical order, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and finally, the United Kingdom. Countries currently seeking membership in the EU include parts of the former Federal State of Yugoslavia as well as Turkey. A political and economic powerhouse, this intergovernmental organization is estimated to account for up to 30% of the world's total Gross Domestic Product (see Warleigh 2004).
Although it has not always been the case, modern-day Europe is characterized by a unifying democratic political culture. While the concept of democracy originated on its shores, the philosophy of democratic governance was challenged in 20th century Europe by authoritarian political movements, including fascism (expressed by Nazi Germany & Mussolini's Italy), and communism (as exemplified in Eastern Europe during the Cold War). With Allied victory in World War II and the recent collapse of the Soviet Union, democracy - in varying degrees- is now a universal trend amongst European states. In fact liberal democracy, best expressed by the states of Western Europe with entrenched democratic traditions, is quickly becoming the standard for the continent. Democratic norms and rules have subsequently been established