¨Institutional design of democratic conditionality in regional organizations¨, by Carlos Closa

European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Global Governance Programme, EUI Working Paper RSCAS 2013/45


Abstract Democratic conditionality accession clauses have become increasingly common in certain international organisations. Similarly, provisions on suspension of membership because of breaches of democratic order have emerged. Why do regional organisations introduce these kin of clauses? In most cases, they developed after 1989 in a new geopolitical climate in which democratic ideals acquired normative hegemony. This does not exclude a purposive rational institutional design. On the one hand, accession clauses developed a posteriori of the creation of the organization being applied hence to new members rather to the ones creating them. These clauses have been used as an instrument for fostering clubness and imposing institutional features of applying states. On the other hand, in the case of suspension, institutional design serves to trade-off two competing principles: commitment to democratic conditionality and respect for sovereignty of member states and it does so by leaving wide discretion in implementing provisions for suspension clauses.