Iankova, Elena A. (2007) "Business-Government Relations in EU-Acceding Countries: Towards a Model of Institutional Change". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction]. Using an institutionalist approach grounded in the comparative Europeanization literature, this study explores institutional change in the business-government relationship in the EU acceding countries from the post-communist region. Similar to the neo-pluralist (societal) approach (see Nowell, 1996), the institutionalist approach emphasizes the importance of business-state alliances in determining political and policy outcomes and the fulfillment of business strategic objectives. Unlike the neo-pluralist approach, however, which emphasizes primarily the desire of business to control the state (Gibbs, 1991; Cox, 1994; Ferguson, 1983, 1984, 1995; Ferguson and Rogers, 1986; Frieden, 1988; Abraham, 1986), the institutionalist approach counts for the goals of business, but regards these goals as significantly constrained – defined and shaped – by institutions.3 Institutions have always played a vital role in the EU integrative processes, including EU accession; the European Union is a polity heavily grounded in institutions (Katzenstein, 1997). What matters most in the case of European integration are the European common law, the acquis communautaire, and the EU common policy content and procedures. As Christopher Preston observes, the requirements that EU candidate countries take on board the entire acquis communautaire with no permanent derogations allowed; and that the accession negotiations concentrate exclusively on the practical aspects of the adoption of the acquis by the applicants, stand on top of the list of principles applied in all EU enlargement rounds (Preston, 1997). These requirements consequently define EU integration and more specifically the EU enlargement process as a highly institutionalized one.
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