Democracy and Enlarging the European Union Eastwards


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25 Citations (Scopus)


Democracy is a precondition for membership of the European Union (EU). What are the chances for democracy in the post‐communist states of central and eastern Europe? The first section states arguments of doubters; the second and third present fresh empirical evidence from nation‐wide surveys of public opinion in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania. Survey data show widespread popular support for the current regime as against the old communist regime, and no substantial support for undemocratic alternatives. The critical feature of ex‐communists is that they are now ‘ex’. Given that the democratic precondition is met, this article secondly considers, what are the obstacles to enlargement within post‐communist countries? In central and eastern Europe the chief obstacle is the time required to create all the institutions of the market. Within the European Union there is also an obstacle‐ defining the post‐1996 acquits communitarian ‐ a task made more complex by the prospect of adding new Member States from central and eastern Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-450
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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