The main theme of this book is the adaptation process of the new EU member states from Central-Eastern Europe (Hungary and Poland) to the multi-level system of governance in public policy, particularly in the regional and environmental policy areas. The work conceptualizes policy learning and institutional and policy adaptation within the EU system of governance and draws lessons from the experience of previous waves of enlargement-cohesion-countries (Ireland, Portugal and Greece). In doing so, the book makes an important contribution to the literature on the transformation of domestic policy-making structures, as a result of the increasing Europeanization of public policy, as well as on the conceptual tools, explanatory variables and mechanisms determining this process.
’Anyone interested in patterns of institutional change and policy learning in the new EU member states will be stimulated by reading this book. The contributions in this volume are based on a commonly adapted neo-institutionalist approach and present a multitude of well-structured research findings from Greece, Ireland and Portugal as examples of the cohesion countries, as well as Hungary and Poland as examples of the new accession countries.’ Professor Dr Hubert Heinelt, Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany ’Europeanization is a slow, complex and varied process. There are many interesting lessons to be learned from the experience of earlier members of the EU for those who have more recently joined. This book does so successfully, and it digs below the institutional surface: a valuable contribution to our understanding of the adaptation process of new member states.’ Loukas Tsoukalis, University of Athens, Greece ’There is a solid theoretical and methodological framework in place that has effectively bound together the research carried out by several scholars in five different countries regarding two different policies...The national case studies have been compiled in a truly comparative manner, which makes it easy to compare and contrast them...this is an interesting and well-researched piece of work...’ Political Studies Review