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Leveling the Playing FieldTransnational Regulatory Integration and Development$
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Laszlo Bruszt and Gerald A. McDermott

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703143

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703143.001.0001

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Strategies for Integration in the EU’s Pre-Accession Process

Strategies for Integration in the EU’s Pre-Accession Process

Reshaping Party Positions and State Institutions

(p.156) 7 Strategies for Integration in the EU’s Pre-Accession Process
Leveling the Playing Field

Aneta Spendzharova

Milada Anna Vachudova

Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates that the EU’s regulatory policy toward new member states and candidate countries combines passive acceptance of the EU legal order, the acquis communautaire, with active attempts to bolster domestic state capacity. The EU has learned from the ongoing process of enlargement, and applied some of those lessons both in the post-accession monitoring of Bulgaria and Romania, and in the pre-accession process that engages the Western Balkan states still in the membership queue. It is shown how the Cooperation and Verification Measure (CVM) has been used to mitigate severe shortcomings in the rule of law and the fight against corruption in Bulgaria and Romania. In the Western Balkans, the EU has used its active leverage more forcefully, insisting on the resolution of any national and territorial disputes, and on visible progress in the most difficult reform areas well before the final stages of the negotiations.

Keywords:   corruption, rule of law, EU enlargement, EU leverage, Bulgaria, Romania, Western Balkans, post-communism, Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, party politics

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