EU eastern enlargement in theory and practice : a policy of administrative conditionality?
The fifth enlargement of the EU to include Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) has led to the creation of new policy instruments, which will become a common feature in future enlargement rounds of the Community. Drawing on policy transfer literature and new forms of governance, this thesis explores the role of the EU and its administrative conditionality in shaping the public administration reforms in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It analyses the introduction of the "twinning exercise" within the context of the 1997 reforms of the enlargement strategy. This is followed by a discussion of the procedural changes which had to be introduced in order to facilitate the secondment of member states' civil servants to administrations in CEE. While emphasizing a new tendency in EU policymaking, the use of the semi-voluntary forms of coordination among its member states and the applicants, it is argued that the substantive policies of the enlargement process allow for the transfer of institutional models and implementation structures from current member states to the applicants. As a result, the EU's conditionality on administrative capacities at sectoral level has gained momentum from the engagement of member states' civil servants in the accession process, although resistance in many of the applicants' ministries has partially prevented full compliance with the acquis communautaire. The thesis regards the introduction of the twinning exercise as mainly driven by lesson-drawing. It argues that, in the long run, the policy outcome of twinning projects is convergence in form of hybridisation rather than compliance on the basis of 'full transfer'.