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Title: Surpassing the leaders - laggards gap? : conditionality, compliance and Europeanisation viewed from Romania and Bulgaria in the post-accession period
Author: Folescu, Corina Andreea
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 8458
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2016
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While EU accession has been generally regarded as a highly successful process of policy, and institutional model diffusion, after the 2007 enlargement wave anxiety regarding post-accession backsliding in the case of Romania and Bulgaria has raised the question of whether the impact of pre-accession conditionality is sustainable once membership is achieved. Against this background, the present thesis investigates the manner in which the two countries have abided by their obligations as EU members, while taking into consideration the particular effects generated by separate modes of governance and legal instruments. The thesis follows infringement cases initiated by the Commission against the two states, examines policy responses under the Europe 2020 Strategy, and explores the steps made by Romania and Bulgaria to fulfil the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism benchmarks. By researching compliance with hard law, as well as openness towards coordination mechanisms we are provided with a more comprehensive outlook over national engagement with both legally-binding commitments and voluntary action. Based on the obtained results, the thesis argues that lock-in effects with regards to institutional reforms conducted prior to the 2007 enlargement have anchored Romania in the face of political volatility. In the case of Bulgaria, the thesis contends that missed opportunities during the pre-accession phase have placed the country into an institutional stalemate. While backsliding has not been observed, little progress in reforming its judiciary has triggered successive appeals from the European Commission for concrete outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available