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The rules of attraction: Policy Transfer and the design of parliamentary EU scrutiny mechanisms in new EU member states

Jungar, Ann-Cathrine. (2007) The rules of attraction: Policy Transfer and the design of parliamentary EU scrutiny mechanisms in new EU member states. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    [From the introduction]. Integrating into the European Union is a process of institutional choices and subsequent changes in domestic political, economic and legal structures. This has indeed been the case for the new member states that joined the EU in 2004. Firstly, the Copenhague criteria established by the European Council in 1993 set out the obligations on the applicant states.1 The political obligations were the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, the respect of human rights and protection of minorities, whereas the economic requirements consisted of a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the EU. Last, but not least, the applicant states had to manifest an ability to incorporate the aquis or “to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union”.2 The process of translating the acquis communitaire into the domestic legislation and the building up of political and administrative routines for influencing and implementing EU-policies have resulted in an unprecedented and far-reaching re-structuration of political, economic and administrative institutions and norms. For eight of the new EU member states of 2004 that either had been independent or parts of one-party communist states (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Slovenia) or republics in the Soviet Union (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) EU accession ran in tandem with processes of state- and nation building. The rapprochement to the EU and the NATO were parallel to the post communist transformation from authoritarian to democratic rule and rule of law as well as the development from state-controlled to market economies. As a matter of fact, the strong commitment to membership in the EU was motivated by the belief that full integration with the EU would secure progress in the construction of modern liberal democracies and market economies. A high prevalence of organisational change has consequently characterised these states due to both state and nation-building as well as European integration in the 1990s and 2000s. Whereas the drawing up of new democratic constitutions in the 1990s predominantly has been conceived of as domestically driven processes, the integration into the European Union has been portrayed as mainly conditioned from outside.3 It has more or less been taken as a given that the “EU has, or at least could have, a pervasive influence on the domestic policies of the CEES”, but “only a few analysts have made an effort to ascertain whether the influence of the EU is so ubiquitous as assumed”.4 Moreover, the domestic insularity of constitution designing has also been questioned since various international organisations exert pressure on how states formulate the basic rules of the political game.5 This study is situated within this broader academic debate since it aims at analysing how external and internal factors interact in how national parliaments adapt to European integration.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Parliament
    Countries > Cyprus
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Central and Eastern Europe
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Baltics
    Countries > Malta
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2008
    Page Range: p. 31
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:51

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