EU as normative power: case study of Transnistria



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The EU applies normative power to influence countries towards democratization process. The EU creates incentives and provides standards and norms for other countries and enhances commitment from the partner country. The tools that the EU uses are the political dialogue, the support of democracy and creation of incentives for democratic change. The aim of the thesis was to identify if and how does normative power Europe influence on the developments in Transnistria. The author first presented the framework for analysis, being the normative power Europe diffusion mechanisms, applied through the prism of the ENP and EaP. As a conclusion, procedural, transference diffusion and some elements of the cultural filter are present in the case of Transnistria and the EU has used strong financial, political, diplomatic as well as conditionality. This paper shows the way ENP uses its normative power and the way it is diffused using its mechanisms. A future suggestion is to have a revision on how the EU uses its power, its efficiency in order to keep continuity. The most significant forms of norm diffusion exerted by EU on Transnistria are the Transference and the Procedural diffusion. Given the findings stated above, it can be concluded that the EU did exert normative power over Transnistria, which played an important role in signing of the DCFTA, through the activity of EU organizations in the region. The norms diffused by the EU have been defined in line with Manner’s theories and democracy, rule of law and human rights - three of his stated “core norms” of the EU - have been chosen to delimit the thesis. Despite the difficult task of proving a direct causal link between the EU conditionality and the reforms made by Transnistria, the paper shows favorable effects that mostly represent a bottom-up approach with their effects to continue to appear in the long run. What is important to mention is that the changes take time to implement, and usually the effects are not visible at once as the EU is applying the small steps strategy. The EU power has been acknowledged cooperation is accepted. To summarize, even though the EU has a vast potential in Transnistria to produce change, it is increasingly having difficulty on its way, and the changes are produced at a slow pace and the effects are still expected to be produced. The main finding is that the normative power Europe works in the example of Transnistria, but in a more narrow way.