Business Briefs

European Integration and
Civil-Military Relations

Over the fifty years of its existence, the European project has grown from a small, exclusive club of western European nation states to include some twenty-seven countries from the entire continent. Successive enlargements have united an array of countries with diverse political, economic and social systems, some of which have only recently emerged from authoritarianism. Indeed, it has often been pointed out that the carrot of EU membership has been a key element in helping former dictatorships to make a smooth transition to democracy. To this purpose, since 1993, the European Union has enforced certain general norms for EU membership, embodied in the so-called Copenhagen Criteria that include: “the achievement of institutional stability as a guarantee of democratic order, the rule of law, respect for human rights and respect and protection of minorities”, as well as an efficient market economy. Although not formally included within these criteria, another prerequisite for EU membership has been the civilian control of military institutions, a key principle of all western democracies. Establishing civilian control over the military is considered essential for national stability and, therefore, for guaranteeing the political stability of the European Union as a whole.

  • Civil-Military Relations in Spain: A Complete Transition?
  • Civli-Military Relations in Turkey: An Incomplete Transition?
  • Conclusion

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