Summer Academy 2012
In light of multiple challenges posed by future enlargements, it seems necessary to review the impact of the EU’s democracy promotion and to understand which lessons can be learned when the EU’s conditionality is put to the test. Which lessons can we draw from the troubled contexts of the democracies in Eastern Europe and the EU’s use of conditionality in strengthening judicial reform and fighting corruption?
A completed EU ‘big-bang’ enlargement in 2004 with 8 Central and Eastern European countries and Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 offers a reasonable timetable and data to analyze divergent patterns and domestic responses to the EU’s conditionality. Further, important lessons of the CEE’s experience with EU’s conditionality can be drawn for Western Balkans and Turkey. We aim to analyze domestic reactions to EU’s benchmarks and how political elites choose to (or not to) comply with external mechanisms of pressure. At the center of the debates we put the search for causal mechanisms in the interplay between external, domestic elites and domestic peculiarities.