The first decade of accession to the EU - A political economy perspectives of CEE countries
Gospodarska gibanja 473
Countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are related, in large part, to a common political and economic history that has regularly been conditioned by their membership in various multinational political communities in which they usually had a subordinate role. After the collapse of the socialist system in which they were submerged by the end of the Second World War until the last decade of the twentieth century, CEE countries have stepped in the way of not only economic but also of societal transition to market economy and democracy, as shown in the first part of this paper. This was reflected in their approach to regional economic, political and military associations, especially the EU and NATO, where they saw the possibility of realizing its security and development aspirations. At the same time the older member states of the EU and NATO, each in their own way, recognized those future partners with which it is opportune to develop mutually advantageous political, military and economic relations, as shown in the central part of this paper. After 25 years of transition and 10 years of membership in the EU, in conclusion, the authors point out certain benefits, from higher levels of military security and a better negotiating position with third countries, through higher standards of living, to the political stability and the stability of the institutions which have been developed in the process of accession and later participation of 8 CEE countries in the EU.
Key words: EU integration, CEE Countries, regional economic integrations, transition
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