EU Accession and Interest Politics in Central and Eastern Europe

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EU-related issues and patterns of behaviour are permeating the new member states' domestic environments. The literature assessing the domestic impact of the Eastward Enlargement focuses on the institutional capability of the new member states to meet the accession criteria as defined in Copenhagen in 1993. This article expands the remit of the debate on Europeanisation in the new member states from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by assessing the impact of EU membership on interest politics. The analysis undertaken here focuses on Business Interest Associations (BIAs), their behaviour and patterns of interaction with decision makers at the national and transnational levels. Their experience illustrates the effect of EU accession on the new member states' repertoires for interest intermediation and the relevance of policy transfer paradigms as suitable research frameworks. At the same time, the impact of the communist heritage and the constraints of domestic political cultures reveal patterns of behaviour at the national and supranational level in a path-dependency fashion. The evidence presented here will show that the Europeanised activities of Central and Eastern European interest groups constitute a peculiar model of interest intermediation, where the exchange and ownership of information take prominence over the actual impact on policy-making.
Translated title of the contributionEU Accession and Interest Politics in Central and Eastern Europe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243 - 272
Number of pages30
JournalPerspectives on European Politics and Society
Volume5 (2)
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Routledge


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