Družboslovno razprave 26 (XIV)

The European union as a catalyst of modernization? : the experiences from the Southern enlargement

Heinz-Jürgen Axt

ABSTRACT: One of the most important lessons which could be learnt by the southern enlargement was the fact, that national conducted policies of modernisation were most decisive for a country success or failure after having entered the EC (in the case of Portugal and Spain we can speak about relative success, in the case of Greece about relative failure in this regard). What the new member states need is a consistent policy of modernisation, which converges with the institutional arrangements, rules and regulations of the EU. The candidate countries which are the most prepared for the EU (like Hungary) have to take into account not only the long-term benefits, but also the short-term adaptation costs.

KEY WORDS: modernization, treefold transformation, Visegrad states, Southern European states, Hungary, Bulgaria

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System change and European integration

Ilja Srubar

ABSTRACT: The author states that ‘the EU will have to adapt to the demands of deregulation caused by globalization which is seen as a return to the domination of a pure economic logic. The crisis of welfare state and the emerging of conflicts over distribution could endanger the legitimacy of EU. The system change in the center and at the periphery of the EU may lead to a political mobilization from below and – consenquently – to a stronger need for legitimization of its institutions and decision-making bodies by elections.

KEY WORDS: globalization, deregulation, transition, system change, legitimacy, modernization

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Global trends and European integration : the South-East European perspective

Nikolai Genov

ABSTRACT: Societies in Western and Eastern Europe alike are facing the challenge of all-pervading global trends. Among them, the spreading of instrumental activism, individualization, upgrading of organizational rationality and value-normative universalization seem to exert the deepest influence. The South-East European societies have to cope with them under the precarious conditions of profound national transformations. Their core is the search for solutions to four major tasks. First, how to restructure the national economies by balancing instrumental activism with the value-normative and institutional patterns of sustainability. Second, how to complement the civilizational triumph of individualization by communitarian patterns of problem-solving. Third, how to upgrade organizational rationality and counteract the development of organizational pathologies. Fourth, how to co-ordinate the value-normative universalization with unavoidable particularisms. These tasks are complex and complicated. Therefore, South-East European societies will retain the potential of intensive risk. Most probably, their integration with the European Union will reduce this potential while loading the Union with internal tensions.

KEY WORDS: global trends, instrumental activism, individualization, rationalization, value-normative universalization

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The relevance of social capital and intermediary structures for the creation of systemic competitiveness : Some lessons from Southern and Eastern-Central Europe

Frane Adam

ABSTRACT: The author proceeds from the thesis that (post-socialist) countries, which demand to be members of the EU will attain a position of compatibility and isomorpolism with a modernised core only if they develop – parallel to the acceptance of formal rules and regulations – also the organisations, associations and mechanism which belong the type so-called intermediary sphere (from NGO-s to various mediating bodies and project groups). In this context the notion of social capital is underlined and the reasons for the nowdegree of trust and cooperation (as two main ingredients of this capital) are analysed.

KEY WORDS: trust, spontaneous sociability, cooperation, policy networks, regulation, associations

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Stabilization and modernization in Central Eastern Europe : the Hungarian experience

Tibor Palánkai

ABSTRACT: The processes of stabilisation and modernisation in the CEE countries and Hungary in particular after the end of the 1980s and the fall of communism and the deep economic crisis and recession are analysed. There was a fall in GDP and industrial output, a decline in private and public consumption. 1994 marked economic revival both in the CEE countries and Hungary. The author sees foreign investment as the source of the re-surge in the Hungarian economy and in this sense poses the dual character of the Hungarian economy.

KEY WORDS: economic crisis, recession, direct foreign investment, structural modernisation

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Is the Czech economy ready for European union accession?

Petr Pavlík

ABSTRACT: The present economic situation in the Czech Republic may be described as a miracle that did not materialised. It is emphasised that the causes of the present economic difficulties are not related to the systemic transformations implemented, rather they lie mainly in the micro-economic sphere, the inadequacy of the legal framework of the economic reform, and the capital concentration process. Although capital markets have been set up, they lag behind other emerging markets like the Polish and Hungarian, particularly with respect to transparency and credibility.

KEY WORDS: Maastricht convergence criteria, market economic, investment funds, economic reforms, legal framework

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European union enlargement to the East : the perspectives and expectations of the Visegrad states

Jürgen Dieringer, Markus M. Müller

ABSTRACT: As the Central and East European candidates for the next round of negotiation on joining the European Union were nominated, the debate on EU enlargement has reached a critical point. Now the rhetoric of postulating European solidarity and emphasizing the openness of the Union for all European states is not enough anymore. Concrete steps must be taken both in the Union and the states applying for membership. The internal political, economic and societal reforms within the so called Visegrad states must be completed as well as the institutional framework of the European Union, including its patterns of decision-making. This article deals with question of reorganizing the administrative structure, e.g. to decentralize in order to anticipate the regional structure of the Union and the question of how the structure of the European agrarian policy should be reformed to make it fit for the competition with the new members?

KEY WORDS: EU enlargement, reforms, political parties, development, structual policies, decentralization

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The challenge of European Union membership : the example of Irish experience with former accession to the European Union

Ragnar Leunig

ABSTRACT: Earlier experience with accession to the EU is examined with special regard to the cases of Ireland and other small states. The article reviews the original motives of the six EU founding members, and presents the factors affecting the success of new candidates. The inclusion of new members will makes EU foreign policy more complicated and generate fear of migrant workers. While the political and economic position of the small states has been strengthened strongly, this may not hold to the same extent once the EU becomes a grouping of 25 states. Unless they act as a group the small states may find themselves neglected although their economy and democracy will nevertheless be strengthened.

KEY WORDS: : EU integration, Ireland, late-comer members, small states

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Eastern enlargement of the European Union

Albrecht Rothacher

ABSTRACT: The accession of the East European countries to the European Union presents a challenge to both the candidate countries and the EU itself. Ten former communist countries are waiting to achieve membership in the prestigious Union. This contribution summarises and analyses three criteria set by the Council of Europe in Copenhagen (system of parliamentary democracy, success full operation on the Union`s free common market, adherence to and implementation of the Union`s legislation) which must be met by each of the candidates in order to attain membership.

KEY WORDS: EU accession, transition, parliamentary democracy, common
market, EU legislation

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