May 22, 2013
By Nienke van Leeuwaarden
I recently read the book “EU Accession Negotiations (A Handbook)” written by Prof. Vasile Puscas. The material – well structured, accessible and clear – provides a comprehensive overview of EU accession negotiations, combining theory with practical experience. The main aim of the book could be considered to make the know-how regarding EU accession negotiations accessible to the larger public.
The content is clearly structured and the author guides the reader through all aspects of EU accession negotiations from beginning to end, including a technical view of the negotiations.
After the introduction of the concept ‘negotiation’ in the European context, Puscas gives an overview of the European environment: its institutions, its policies and its decision-making mechanisms.
In chapter 5 Puscas logically connects the theory from the earlier chapters to practice as he introduces ‘European Accession Negotiations’. Covering “who is who”, the parties involved, strategy and tactics, criteria, positions, transition periods and derogations, as well as the final stage of accession negotiations, the following chapters really dig into the accession process.
Including a chapter on integration capacity and effective implementation of the negotiated commitments really completes the journey through the process of accession negotiations. And as a bonus, he included a case-study on the newest member of the EU – Croatia.
Puscas successfully applies critical thinking and an interdisciplinary approach to the subject. Not only is this book an asset to those involved in EU accession negotiations, but to the academic world as well. In fact it is an asset to anybody interested in the process of EU accession negotiations.