The influence of perception on the preferences of the new member states of the European Union: The case of energy policy
This article analyses the formation of preferences in the sphere of energy policy in the new member states of the EU. It claims that the subjective perception of states’ vulnerability and strength by decision makers, that filter the objective structural and institutional attributes of a state, is a crucial point here. The empirical analysis is based on the preferences of three new members (Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland) in energy area. The results show that in the areas where decision makers perceive states as vulnerable (that is, ascribe to them the role of a weak negotiator) states support further deepening of integration to compensate for domestic shortcomings, whereas in areas where decision makers perceive their state to be capable states oppose further integration that could obstruct their ability to deal with challenges.
Keywordsdomestic preferences energy energy security new member states European Union
The work on this article was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency grants no. APVV-0660-06 and APVV-0484-10. I am grateful for the comments on the earlier versions of the article made by Darina Malová, Marek Rybář, Erik Láštic, Nathaniel Copsey, Anneliese Dodds, Ed Turner, Carolyn Rowe and the anonymous reviewers. I would also like to thank all the interviewees for their willingness to take part in the research and for sharing their knowledge with me.
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