How influential the EU has been in shaping the domestic institutions of the Central and East European countriesThe accession of the countries of the Central and Eastern Europe was, since the adoption of Copenhagen criteria in 1993, contingent upon fulfilling various obligations, which included, along with adopting an extensive set of the European legislation known as acquis communitaire, achieving progress on such dimensions as a functioning democracy, rule of law, and the ability to undertake obligations of an EU member. The wide discretion the EU organs were granted in assessing the progress made by the candidate states was supposed to guarantee that they would complete a genuine reform of domestic political and administrative institutions in accordance with Western European model, distancing from the Communist past. Such patterns of the regional development as institutional voids inherited from socialism, a wide economic disparity with the West and broad domestic support for the cause of Europe added weight to predictions of a thorough-going and fundamental change to result from the influence of Brussels.  

How can one characterize the influence of the EU on the regional states? I will try to answer this question bringing to the fore dialectical relationship between EU and domestic institutions, as well as the nature of European-making, with its inherent strengths and weaknesses. 


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