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Explaining the EU's legal obligation for democracy promotion : the case of the EU-Turkey relationship

Cardwell, Paul James (2018) Explaining the EU's legal obligation for democracy promotion : the case of the EU-Turkey relationship. European Papers, 2 (3). pp. 863-886. ISSN 2499-7498

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The EU has a Treaty-based obligation to promote democracy in the wider world, with a particular emphasis on neighbouring States. Doctrinal approaches to EU democracy promotion generally focus on a specific set of instruments, whereas the law of external relations underpins a much wider set of policies and practices relating to democracy promotion. This Article applies four categories of democracy promotion (on a positive/negative and express/implied axis) to a case study of the EU-Turkey relationship. The wider scope provided by this categorisation demonstrates that democracy promotion should not only be seen within the confines of “positive” measures such as enlargement conditionality but also by measures and practices which are often hidden from view. In doing so, a richer understanding of how the law of the EU’s external relations informs policy and practice can be gained.