Accession Conditionality and its Implications

Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


The aim of this chapter is to define ‘EU influence’ as it was exerted through the conditions set by the EU for the CEE candidates. The evolving relationship between the EU and the CEE applicants for membership had three broad phases: the post-1989 trade and aid programmes; then the first pre-accession strategy that began with the Copenhagen commitment to enlargement and ended with the Commission’s publication of its opinions (avis) on the applicants in 1997; and finally the Accession Partnerships and negotiations from 1998 to 2002. In this third phase, substantive negotiations began in November 1998 with five of the countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia), while the other five candidates (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia) finally joined negotiations in March 2000. All the candidates also went through a process of ‘screening’ to assess the compatibility of their legislation with EU requirements. All of the CEE candidates finished negotiations in 2002.


Corporate Governance European Council Accession Policy Candidate Country Home Affair 
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© Heather Grabbe 2006

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