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Title: The political economy of the accession process : aspirations of European Union membership leading to divergence within Central and Eastern Europe
Author: Zuleeg, Fabian
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis examines the Political Economy of the Accession of Central and Eastern European Countries to the European Union. It focuses on the process of accession from the perspective of the applicant countries and the constraints they face. For this purpose the thesis examines the literature of transition economics with a particular emphasis on macro-economic modelling and contrasts the findings with literature on the accession process. It demonstrates that there is a need to apply the transition literature to the accession process by using economic modelling. The thesis recognises that the position of the applicant countries is path dependent and thus sets out the main historical developments. The thesis demonstrates that groups of applicant countries share a certain degree of common historical development, particularly in the later half of the second century. The thesis then examines the transition up to date with a particular emphasis on the relationship with the European Union, to determine the starting point of the accession process. This part of the thesis shows that some of the countries have fallen behind in the accession process and face further difficult reforms. The next section of the thesis models the accession process and derives theoretical conclusions. The conclusions show that constraints play an important part in the accession process. In particular, the thesis identifies the main constraints as political feasibility, time consistency and uncertainty. Furthermore the theoretical conclusions demonstrate that countries at different stages of the accession process need to pursue different strategies. The thesis then applies the theoretical conclusions by examining the literature on the applicant countries to identify the presence of constraints. The thesis demonstrates that the constraints are present in all the applicant countries, but, as predicted by the theoretical model, the presence of constraints is most frequent in those countries furthest away from accession. The thesis concludes that some countries face an increasingly difficult accession process, which might lead to the postponement or even abandonment of accession.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available