Acta Politica

, Volume 45, Issue 1–2, pp 1–10 | Cite as

Why you don't always get what you want: EU enlargement and civil society in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Tanja A Börzel

It takes six months to create new political institutions, to write a constitution and electoral laws. It may take six years to create a half-way viable economy. It will probably take sixty years to create a civil society. (Ralf Dahrendorf, 1990)

The Eastern enlargement of the European Union (EU) had a profound impact on the domestic structures of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) accession countries. It had the potential for empowering civil society actors by offering new opportunities, for them to voice their interests and inject them into domestic policymaking.1Democratic conditionality and the harmonization with EU law created additional rights by safe-guarding political freedoms, by legally prescribing public involvement in the policy process and by opening new legal and political venues for civil society organizations (CSOs) to push their interests. To help the CEE countries adopt and adapt to the entire body of EU Law, the EU provided financial and technical assistance,...


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanja A Börzel
    • 1
  1. 1.Otto-Suhr-Institut for Political Science, Freie Universität BerlinGermany

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