This article focuses on the key influence of international organizations, and specifically the European Union, in the process of democratization in central and eastern European (CEE) states. It argues that the process of accession to the EU by these post-communist states undergoing regime change, including the pressure to conform to the EU's pre-membership conditions, has led to the emergence of a unique model of democracy promotion through integration. This model appears to be more successful in fostering democracy than the efforts of other international organizations such as the Council of Europe, the OSCE, NATO or regional integration bodies in other parts of the world. To explain the EU's success the article investigates the particular combination of hard conditionality and soft measures such as twinning and of top-down and bottom-up approaches that it has employed to strengthen democratic institutions in CEE. Since membership of the EU is the lynchpin of this approach, it has good chances of success in dealing with viable candidates, but limited potential when encountering defective democracies with little chance of becoming EU members.
|Translated title of the contribution||International actors and democracy promotion in central and eastern Europe: the integration model and its limits|
|Pages (from-to)||91 - 112|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2004|