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By James Hughes, Gwendolyn Sasse, Claire Gordon (auth.)

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Additional info for Europeanization and Regionalization in the EU’s Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe: The Myth of Conditionality

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The ideocratic and institutional debilitation arising from the exit from communism and the subsequent political and economic transitions, potentially made the key actors and elites in the CEECs weak protagonists in the accession negotiations. The EU’s capacity to pressure for policy and institutional change was further Enlargement Conditionality and Europeanization 29 enhanced by the fact that the CEECs were transitioning countries that were engaged contemporaneously in fundamental systemic reform that required good relations with the EU.

Source: Excerpts from the Consolidated Version of the Treaty of European Union (1997). EU ‘democracy promotion’ A multilateral strategic vision and consensus on broad principles inevitably runs into difficulties when tested against state-specific interests and objectives. In the realm of post-communist economic transition there was a consensus among the advanced democracies around the need for a ‘shock therapy’ application of neo-liberal policies known as the ‘Washington consensus’. There was no such consensus, however, about the ‘Western project’ for consolidating democracy.

The extremely small size of many of these local self-government units made for a high degree of dysfunctionality as they lacked a sufficient tax base to fund service-provision. This not only greatly complicated the politics of resource allocation by the central governments, but also increased public disenchantment with the decline of service provision and the transition process in general. The problems arising from the dysfunctional fragmentary nature of local government provided an additional disincentive for further decentralization, if not offering a rationale for recentralization tendencies at the national level.

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