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Sobering after a grim wedding – a realistic evaluation of Hungarys accession to the EU Krisztina Arató Ph.D ELTE, Budapest Euroscepticism and European.

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Presentation on theme: "Sobering after a grim wedding – a realistic evaluation of Hungarys accession to the EU Krisztina Arató Ph.D ELTE, Budapest Euroscepticism and European."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sobering after a grim wedding – a realistic evaluation of Hungarys accession to the EU Krisztina Arató Ph.D ELTE, Budapest Euroscepticism and European Integration Zagreb, 12 April 2007

2 Introduction Why grim wedding? – Timothy Garton Ash in The Guardian (June 27, 2002) – Something went wrong – neither the old, nor the new member states are happy with the realisation of the EUs Eastern enlargement – Problem not important in itself – interesting for the future, the innovation capacity of the new EU

3 Basis There was no other possible way for modernising Central-Eastern Europe The overall result of EU accession in positive for both old and new member states However, after accession euphoria there is a need for a realistic evaluation of EU eastern enlargement process

4 Major parts of the presentation Analysis of the European Union – approach, motivation, institutional background, conditionality in Eastern enlargement Analysis of new member states (esp. Hungary) – accession strategies, roles of regional institutions in accession process Conclusions

5 EU and eastern enlargement I. Why enlargement? – Several analyses (e.g. H.Grabbe) argued that the EU had no clearcut strategy for Eastern enlargement – It seemed just a natural consequence of the collapse of the bipolar world – EU: special responsibility for the region (Hallstein, Mitterand, Dooge Committee, etc.) – 1990s: symbolic and concrete promises after the Copenhagen criteria

6 EU and eastern enlargement II. Just how important is Eastern enlargement for the EU? – Not a priority throughout the process (Ágh) – see Constitution and Lisbon strategy – Internal engagements and debates (EMU, clashes of interest in EU15) – No external pressure

7 EU and eastern enlargement III. Role of the Commission – No formal responsibility in enlargement in general – Huge role in Eastern enlargement – no political decision on Council level – Uncertain, even contradictory information from different DGs in different periods of the negotiation process

8 EU and eastern enlargement IV. Moving target – The EU did not present a clear schedule for enlargement – Not accession date, only indirect schedule ( financial perspective) – Principle of differentiation changed late 2001 to Big Bang – too late to change accession strategies for most applicants

9 EU and eastern enlargement V. Conditionality – Formal and informal conditionality – Exceptional in scale Expectations to apply parts of the acquis prior to accession Informal expectations in excess – e.g. concerning regional policy and subnational government structures

10 EU and eastern enlargement VI. Money – EU transfers have been one of the biggest attractions of membership – How much money is available? – set in financial perspecive for 4-6 new member states – Good deal for the EU - cheap enlargement

11 EU and eastern enlargement VII. Poland 67 Hungary 49 Slovenia 41 Czech Republic 29 Per capita available EU funding for 2005 Data from Michaela Schreyer in Int. Herald Tribune Greece 437 Ireland 418 Spain 216 Portugal 211 Per capita available EU funding for 2000

12 CEECs and EU accession I. Why accession? – Symbolic reasons – returning to Europe – Economic reasons – economic stability, stabilisation of strong trade links, FDI, etc. – Modernisation – EU membership might be a key element in modernising key sectors like pension reforms, budgetary stability, etc. – Political reasons – stabilising democratic political systems – UNEQUIVOCAL COMMITMENT FOR MEMBERSHIP

13 CEECs and EU accession II. Accession strategies – 2 main models – Hungarian and Polish – Hungarian: to become a member state at the first possible date with the best possible conditions Few derogations Strong adaptive attitude – best pupil in class Belief in the principle of differentiation – Polish: there is no Eastern enlargement without Poland Hard negotiations, better concessions

14 CEECs and EU accession III. Regional co-operation – Failure of Visegrad and other regional organisations – Rational expectations: co-operation might strengthen negotiating positions of CEECs – Reality: Historic conflicts and neuralgic points Principle of differentiation – Divide et impera from the Commission?

15 Conclusions I have listed the major mistakes made by both negotiating sides Why they happened? – NO STRATEGY ON ANY SIDES – EU15 did not have a vision about how an enlaged Union would target and operate – New members did not have an idea how to change attitude after accession (from applicant to club member) – Now EU 27 are in a visionless status – in order to make the EU work, we all have to contribute to create the future


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