The Impact of Passive Leverage: The EU and Eastern Europe, 1989–94
The EU had a negligible impact on the course of political change in the new democracies from 1989 to 1994. This chapter traces empirically the relationship between the EU and the liberal and illiberal pattern states during this period. The EU’s passive leverage merely reinforced the (relatively) comprehensive reforms adopted by governing elites in the liberal states, while failing to avert or modify the rent-seeking behaviour of elites in the illiberal states. This chapter also reveals how the liberal states came to appreciate fully the benefits of EU membership through exposure to the protectionism of the EU during the negotiation and the implementation of the Europe Agreements. Meanwhile, the EU itself slowly came to terms with the prospect of a future eastern enlargement.
Keywords: anticipatory adaptation, asymmetric interdependence, conditionality, contingent protection, Europe Agreements, European Council, European Union, protectionism, sensitive sectors, trade liberalization, trade surplus, Visegrad, widening vs deepening
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