The road to the European Union, Volume 1. The Czech and Slovak Republics

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Publication Date 2003
ISBN 0-7190-6596-8 (Hbk) / 0-7190-6597-6 (Pbk)
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Book abstract:

Freed from the yoke of Soviet bloc communism, these two constituent parts of the former Czechoslovakian Republic quickly divorced in the pursuit of self-determination, and following the 'velvet revolution' began their independent but perhaps more interdependent journeys towards membership of the EU. This book tells the story of those two journeys and offers some valuable signposts to the European Union in its quest for further expansion into other countries of the former Soviet bloc.

The twelve chapters of the book may be grouped under five different headings: historical legacy, domestic policies of EU accession, EU policy of conditionality, discourse and perceptions, and finally, the transnational dimension. The broad historical background is provided in chapter one. The interaction of European integration and domestic developments are covered in the next two chapters including the effects of the 'velvet revolution' in each of the two countries. The subsequent four chapters examine the European Union's enlargement policies and the Czech and Slovak responses to these policies. Chapters eight, nine and ten explore the political discourse on and public perceptions of the process of EU accession. They provide comments upon the attitudes of political parties including Euroscepticism, opinions and positions expressed by leading Czech politicians as well as local politicians, and the perceived impact of EU membership at the local level. The complex relationship of the Czech Republic and Germany calls for particular examination in the EU context and this is the subject of chapter eleven. That relationship also features in chapter twelve which looks at cross-border co-operation within the EU.

The work will interest students and scholars of European Union studies and International Relations and offers valuable pointers to all those engaged in EU enlargement and post-communist transition.

Jacques Rupnik is Director of Research at the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Foundation Nationale des Sciences Politiques Paris and Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.

Jan Zielonka is Professor of Political Science at the European University Institute in Florence.

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