Europeanisation of policy-making in East Central Europe: the Hungarian approach to EU accession

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Series Details Vol.6, No.5, December 1999, p839-854
Publication Date December 1999
ISSN 1350-1763
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This article discusses Hungary's accession to the European Union (EU) in the East Central European (ECE) context. After the relatively well-accomplished Europeanization of their polities, the ECE countries now have to turn to policy-making, that is, from democratization to political modernization to improve the efficiency of policy-making. The Europeanization of the polity and policy process involving 'political harmonization' is a precondition for accession to the EU, but it has to be accompanied by the emergence of public support for integration as tested ultimately in a referendum. By the late 1990s, Hungary had taken great strides towards the Europeanization of governmental - although much less in the parliamentary - institutions. Following periods of naive enthusiasm and Euro-fatigue, a breakthrough took place in 1997 in public support for EU membership. Despite some unavoidable conflicts, Hungary's experiences in the EU negotiations have been positive and the prospects are relatively good for its accession in the near future.

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