This book examines how membership of the European Union has affected life in the ten former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe that are now members of the European Union. It attempts to answer some fundamental questions: Was the reward of EU membership worth the sacrifices made? How have the new member states fared? Has the promise of EU membership, on which so many expectations were based, been realised? Or have the new member states traded a Socialist Commonwealth with Moscow pulling the strings for an over-centralised Brussels bureaucracy that lacks transparency and accountability? How has a shared communist past influenced the countries’ post-socialist and post-accession trajectory? How have the populations of post-communist Europe fared? Have some done better than others? Are these divergences confined to the political, economic or social spheres, or to more than one? If there have been disappointments, how have the populations reacted to these?
By taking stock of debates within domestic elites, popular opinion, non-governmental organisations, civil society, and external actors, this book seeks to answer these crucial questions.
Table of Contents
Foreword Alexsander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland 1995-2005 Introduction Donnacha Ó Beacháin, Vera Sheridan and Sabina Stan 1. Poland Jane Hardy 2. The Czech Republic Frank Cibulka 3. Slovakia Vladimir Bilcik and Juraj Buzalka 4. Hungary Umut Korkut 5. Slovenia Matevz Tomsic and Lea Prijon 6. Lithuania Mindaugas Jurkynas 7. Latvia Zaneta Ozolina 8. Estonia Viljar Veebel and Ramon Loik 9. Romania Lavinia Stan and Rodica Zaharia 10. Bulgaria Svetlozar Andreev Conclusion Donnacha Ó Beacháin, Vera Sheridan and Sabina Stan
Donnacha Ó Beacháin is a Lecturer in International Relations at the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University.
Vera Sheridan is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Dublin City University.
Sabina Stan is a Lecturer in Sociology at the School of Nursing and Human Sciences at Dublin City University.