Tuesday, 05 July 2022

Flamur Mrasori*

The Role of the Unilateral Harmonization to the EU Integration

Full text PDF [EN]

Suggested citation:

Mrasori, F. (2022). The Role of the Unilateral Harmonization to the EU Integration. Lex Portus, 8(2), 54-77. https://doi.org/10.26886/2524-101X.8.2.2022.3

*PhD, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Prishtina, Chairman of the Central Bank Board, Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo (31, George Bush St., Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo)



The addressing regarding EU integration done so far presents different observations and analyses including almost the same dimension or components. This is due to the fact that concepts for EU integration were usually constructed from the Union’s perspective, i.e. this process was portrayed as an attempt of the aspiring countries (including their specifics) for accession to the auspices of the Union (including but not limited to interests, policies and proactivity of the Union on the basis of formal accession criteria). Through this research paper, I attempt to make a step forward in observing a “nonconventional” component of integration, that is the role of unilateral harmonisation to the EU Integration and its adverse effect. As a concept, herein unilateral harmonization is constructed by being compared with different approaches dedicated to harmonization, in particular, with the Copenhagen criteria for the very purpose of showing the originality, bindingness and impact of unilateral harmonization on European integration. In this regard, it is herewith argued whether unilateral harmonization is cognitive (mandatory) in nature or not, compared to the accession process from a legal and political perspective. Finally, its role and effect on European integration and/or its adverse effect on European integration is evaluated. Therefore, based on current circumstances related to Unions’ integration processes and policies, the effect of unilateral harmonization in two enlargement or currently integrating regions, i.e. Western Balkan countries and countries where EU neighbourhood policy applies (focusing on one of those countries), has been assessed. Sustainable conclusions have been built upon realistic arguments and circumstances which bring into light new concepts and advantages and disadvantages regarding EU integration of relevant enlargement regions.

The keywords: unilateral harmonization, membership, EU membership perspectives, impact to the EU integration, regions of integration.



Adrian-Gabriel, C. (2018). Assessments and prospects for the integration of the west Balkans. The case of Montenegro. Online Journal Modelling the New Europe, 25. https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2018.25.04

Biondi, A., Eeckhout, P., & Ripley, S. (2012). EU Law after Lisbon. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644322.001.0001

Chalmers, D., & Tomkins, A. (2007). European Union Public Law: Text and Materials. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139167468

Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:12012M/TXT

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012E/TXT

Craig, P., & de Búrca, G. (2021). The Evolution of EU Law. Oxford University Press.

Dadomo, Ch., & Quenivet, N. (2020). European Union Law. 3rd ed. Hall and Stott Publishing Ltd.

Eriksen, E.O. (2020). Banishing dominance in Europe: The case for regional cosmopolitanism. European Journal of International Relations, 26(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/1354066119882067

Eriksen, E.O. (2018). Political differentiation and the problem of dominance: Segmentation and hegemony. European Journal of Political Research, 57(4). https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12263

European Commission. (2022, March 13). European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/european-neighbourhood-policy_en#:~:text=The%20European%20Union%27s%20European%20Neighbourhood,prosperity%20in%20its%20closest%20neighbourhood

European Commission. (2022, March 10). Stabilization and Association Process. https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/enlargement-policy/glossary/stabilisation-and-association-process_en

Lacey, J., & Bauböck, R. (2017). Enlargement, association, accession–a normative account of membership in a union of states. Journal of European Integration, 39(5). https://doi.org/10.1080/07036337.2017.1327523

Solanke, I. (2015). EU Law (1st ed., v. 1). Pearson.

Topidi, K. (2013). Are the Copenhagen Criteria Undermined by the Lisbon Treaty? European Yearbook of Minority Issues, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1163/22116117-01001004


Editorial Board Address

Ukraine, Odesa, Fontanska Doroga, 23
National University “Odessa Academy of Law”,
Department of Maritime and Customs Law