The development of interest representation in Hungary : a case of uneven Europeanisation
The thesis examines the impacts of European integration on interest representation in an
EU applicant country, Hungary. The study identifies and explores the mechanisms of
Europeanisation and their effects on the organisation and functioning of interest groups
and of interest representation structures.
The study primarily uses the qualitative method. The empirical part consists of
three detailed case studies, covering the pharmaceutical sector, the agricultural sector,
and peak employers' associations. The research is largely based on primary data gained
from interviews and documents. Each case study explores the inclusion of Hungarian
interest groups in the European level of interest representation, their participation in
EU-related policy-making, and the European policy impacts on group developments and
interest representation structures.
The theories of Europeanisation constitute the primary analytical framework for
the study. In addition in an attempt of contextualisation, the theories of political and
economic transition and consolidation are also examined.
The empirical chapters indicate a variation in the forms and degree to which
Europeanisation affected interest representation in Hungary. Sectoral, group and interest
representation structure characteristics, and the nature of the EU level interest
representation are examined as the variables responsible for the differences. The
research findings point to the need to distinguish between formal and substantive
Europeanisation. It is also argued that Europeanisation is closely intertwined with and
embedded in the double process of political and economic transition and consolidation
in the Central and Eastern European context