Europeanization Goes East: Power and Uncertainty in the EU Accession Process

Heather Grabbe

in The Politics of Europeanization

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780199252091
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599224 | DOI:
 Europeanization Goes East: Power and Uncertainty in the EU Accession Process

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The candidate countries of central and eastern Europe (CEE) have been taking on all the obligations of European Union (EU) membership for some ten years now, so the domestic effects of transferring policies and institutions to them are likely to be comparable to the effects of the EU on its current member states, although the political relationship between the applicants and the EU is very different, which affects how Europeanization occurs. This chapter examines just one domain of Europeanization in relation to CEE candidates. Public policy. The first section sets out a prima facie case for extending the study of Europeanization to include the EU effects in CEE, arguing that the effects are likely to be similar in nature, but broader and deeper in scope. The second section discusses how theoretical and empirical work on Europeanization in the fifteen EU countries can usefully be applied to the applicants for membership, particularly the CEE countries that have sought to join since 1989; it sets out a typology of routes of influence through which the EU can affect domestic changes in CEE. The third section presents an analysis of two major reasons why Europeanization is different in the case of central and eastern European countries: the first reason is that they are candidates rather than members of the Union, in an asymmetrical relationship which gives the EU more coercive routes of influence in domestic policy-making processes, and the applicants a stronger incentive than existing member states to implement EU policies because they are trying to gain admission yet cannot influence EU policy making; the second reason is the uncertainty built into the accession processes, which has at least five dimensions.

Keywords: candidate countries; Central Europe; domestic policy; Eastern Europe; European Union; Europeanization; public policy

Chapter.  11255 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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